AT&T moves on to last-ditch efforts to save T-Mobile deal

Summary:AT&T is reportedly trying to sell off subscribers and spectrum to smaller regional carriers to save its proposed bid for T-Mobile.

Now that AT&T has even more enemies on its list after seven state attorney generals from some of the nation's most populated areas banded together against its desired merger with T-Mobile, AT&T is moving on to the last-ditch effort portion of the program.

Bloomberg reports that AT&T is trying to sell off spectrum and subscribers to some smaller mobile providers, most notably MetroPCS and Leap Wireless:

AT&T is seeking ways to salvage its agreement to buy T- Mobile USA from Bonn-based Deutsche Telekom AG (DTE) after the Justice Department sued on Aug. 31 to stop the deal. The talks with competitors are preliminary and may not lead to a deal, and the Justice Department may also deem the remedies insufficient, the people said.

Even more surprisingly, AT&T possibly approached Dish Network and even Sprint, who has been the most outspoken opponent to the proposed $39 billion merger since it was first announced in March. Thus, it would be hard to see Sprint trying to help out AT&T in any sort of way at this point.

It looks like the idea is that AT&T wants to appear like it has less coverage and lacks the resources to expand to justify the need for acquiring T-Mobile and its nationwide network -- the fourth largest in the country -- which is what AT&T has been arguing all along.

However, if it is trying to get rid of spectrum that it supposedly needs as well as customers (who might not be happy about being ditched to another carrier) then it doesn't make AT&T look very good to the Federal Communications Commission, which is already casting doubts about the deal after the Department of Justice filed suit recently over potential antitrust law violations.

Related:

Topics: Mobility, AT&T

About

Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider, FastCompany.com, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for MainStreet.com, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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