AT&T is reportedly moving on two fronts to try to salvage its planned acquisition of smaller rival T-Mobile USA.
Sources said even as it gearsedup for a lengthy court battle against the Justice Department, AT&T was prepared to offer concessions.
It was not clear how they would address Washington’s concerns that the T-Mobile deal is anti-competitive and could cause mobile prices to rise, but the company is expected to include pledges to maintain T-Mobile’s relatively cheap mobile subscription plans, and sales of assets.
A two-track plan will allow AT&T to try to find a settlement before the US government lawsuit reaches the court.
“AT&T is pretty determined that they can find a solution, and they are pretty confident,” one source told Reuters, requesting anonymity as the talks are private.
The US government has sued to block AT&T’s purchase of T-Mobile USA, a deal that would put the combined company above Verizon Wireless as the top player in the United States.
If AT&T fails to defeat the lawsuit, it would have to pay T-Mobile parent Deutsche Telekom an estimated $6 billion (4.2 billion euros) in cash and other assets as part of the original deal.
AT&T may have to sell up to 25 percent of T-Mobile’s business, including airwaves and customers, two sources said, to address the government’s concern that just three companies would control 90 percent of the US wireless market if the merger goes through.