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AT&T to try to save T-Mobile deal

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AT&T to try to save T-Mobile deal

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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.