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AT&T Faces Year-Long Scrutiny for ‘Unthinkable’ T-Mobile Bid

AT&T Inc.’s $39 billion purchase of T-Mobile USA, the biggest acquisition worldwide in almost a year, may take a year to gain regulators’ approval even if the carrier pledges to sell assets and expand rural coverage.

The acquisition would push AT&T past its largest rival, Verizon Wireless, to become the biggest U.S. mobile-phone carrier. AT&T and T-Mobile combined have 39 percent of the market, according to research firm EMarketer Inc.