FCC Chief Told AT&T, Deutsche Telekom CEOs of Move Against Deal

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski telephoned AT&T Inc.’s top executive to say the agency would move to block the company’s $39 billion purchase of a smaller rival, AT&T said in a filing.

In the Nov. 22 call, Genachowski told AT&T Chief Executive Officer Randall Stephenson that he would ask fellow commissioners to send the proposed acquisition of T-Mobile USA Inc. to a hearing before an agency judge, Dallas-based AT&T said in a Nov. 25 filing that it circulated by e-mail today.

Genachowski also called Rene Obermann, chief executive officer of T-Mobile parent Deutsche Telekom AG, the Bonn-based company said in a separate filing.

AT&T and Deutsche Telekom withdrew their FCC merger applications Nov. 23, according to the filings. AT&T on Nov. 25 said it plans to sue the FCC if the agency doesn’t allow the withdrawal.

AT&T’s move is “a request” that the FCC “will consider,” agency spokeswoman Tammy Sun said in an e-mailed statement Nov. 24.

The Justice Department already has sued to block the transaction as anticompetitive, with a U.S. district court trial set to commence in February.

To contact the reporter on this story: Todd Shields in Washington at tshields3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Shepard at mshepard7@bloomberg.net

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