AT&T is hoping to put off a court ruling regarding its proposal to buy T-Mobile USA as long as possible, but T-Mobile might have other options if all doesn't go to AT&T's plan.
Deutsche Telekom, AT&T, and even the U.S. Department of Justice (which opposes the AT&T/T-Mobile USA merger) have petitioned U.S. District Court Judge Ellen S. Huvelle to put off any further Court proceedings until at least January 18.
AT&T has also issued the following statement as an update in regards to its $39 billion proposed bid to takeover the nation's fourth largest mobile provider:
AT&T is committed to working with Deutsche Telekom to find a solution that is in the best interests of our respective customers, shareholders and employees. We are actively considering whether and how to revise our current transaction to achieve the necessary regulatory approvals so that we can deliver the capacity enhancements and improved customer service that can only be derived from combining our two companies' wireless assets.
However, it's possible that T-Mobile has other plans at this point...or at least other parties have plans for T-Mobile.
Dish Network, the nation's second largest satellite TV provider, is planning to try to partner with T-Mobile if the merger bid doesn't go through, according to Bloomberg.
Dish CEO Joseph Clayton told Bloomberg that his company "could merge its spectrum assets with T-Mobile to create a strengthened competitor to AT&T and Verizon Wireless." Having Dish as a partner also has other possibilities for T-Mobile.
For one, as Verizon is reportedly planning its own digital streaming service (reportedly with Redbox), this route could open the door for T-Mobile to do the same using Dish's content and platform.
At this point, the chances of the FCC approving AT&T's request to buy T-Mobile USA are looking slimmer by the day. Recent moves such as proposing to pool network assets into a joint venture with Deutsche Telekom as well as selling off spectrum and subscribers to smaller mobile providers have come off looking like last-ditch efforts to salvage whatever is left of this proposal.
It also doesn't help that AT&T lashed out at the FCC after the department issued a staff report asserting its opposition to the merger.