The Washington Post

Report: AT&T in talks with Leap Wireless to save T-Mobile deal

AT&T Wireless is reportedly in talks with Leap Wireless to save its proposed $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile.

According to a report from the New York Times, AT&T is trying to strike a deal that would hand over some of T-Mobile’s customers and spectrum to the second-tier carrier to build a stronger case as it faces a Justice Department lawsuit.

The report said that the agreement would make Leap Wireless the fourth-largest carrier in the nation but allow AT&T to keep vital components of the T-Mobile spectrum, enabling AT&T to build out its own network.

Leap Wireless and AT&T both declined to comment on the rumors.

The proposed merger has hit a couple of serious regulatory roadblocks in recent months, and experts have said that it’s unlikely the companies will be able to seal their deal any time soon.

The companies recently withdrew their applications for the merger from the Federal Communications Commissions. FCC chairman Julius Genachowski had called for an administrative hearing to review the merger, indicating that the agency had some reservations about the deal.

In August, the Justice Department filed a suit to block the deal in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

On Monday, Judge Ellen Huvelle postponed a meeting between AT&T, T-Mobile and the Justice Department to discuss the status of the case. The meeting, which was scheduled for Wednesday, has been moved to Dec. 9.

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.

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