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AT&T, T-Mobile deal: Judge to delay California probe indefinitely

December 16, 2011 | 12:46 pm

T-mobile-outside

Citing uncertainty about the fate of AT&T's $39-billion deal to take over T-Mobile, a California judge has indefinitely postponed proceedings in a 6-month-old state investigation of the deal.

In June, the California Public Utilities Commission began officially looking into how the deal would affect California consumers, including whether creating a wireless titan was in the public interest.

But on Thursday, a CPUC administrative law judge, Jessica Hecht, said she was eliminating an upcoming deadline in the case "in recognition of recent developments related to the underlying merger proposal." 

"I will continue to monitor developments related to the proposed merger," she wrote, and "will issue a new schedule for these comments or other activities in the future, if appropriate."

The delay came after the CPUC received requests earlier this week from AT&T and T-Mobile to put a hold on the proceedings, she wrote.

The companies' plans have hit a series of obstacles recently, including a delay in a critical Justice Department lawsuit over the deal. AT&T also withdrew a key application from the FCC last month.

The deal cannot be completed until it is approved by the FCC, and the Justice Department's antitrust lawsuit is resolved.

RELATED:

Judge stays antitrust case as AT&T rethinks deal

AT&T is dealt another blow in T-Mobile takeover bid

FCC report criticizes AT&T bid to take over T-Mobile

-- David Sarno

twitter.com/dsarno

Image: A T-Mobile store in New York. Credit: Mark Lennihan / Associated Press

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