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AT&T Runs Low on Options to Get U.S. Approval for T-Mobile

AT&T Inc. may be running out of options to win regulatory approval for its proposed $39 billion takeover of T-Mobile USA, forcing AT&T to choose whether to drop the bid or endure months of litigation with the U.S. government.

The Federal Communications Commission took a step toward opposing the deal yesterday, as Chairman Julius Genachowski asked commissioners to send the proposal to an agency judge for a hearing. Agency staff had found the proposed merger would significantly diminish competition and lead to job losses, said an official who spoke on the condition of anonymity.