AT&T withdrawing merger application with the FCC while pursuing win with the Justice Department

AT&T apparently believes its idea to merge with T-Mobile is headed for trouble, and today the telecommunication giant announced it has withdrawn its joint application for FCC approval ahead of what was going to be a US
$39 billion dollar deal. The two companies say they are going to focus efforts on getting approval from the Justice Department for the merger, but that seems a stretch since last August the Department of Justice sued AT&T claiming the merger was anti-competitive and in violation of antitrust laws.

AT&T said it plans to book a $4 billion dollar charge in the 4th quarter in preparation for the deal failing and it having to make a large payment of up to $6 billion dollars to T-Mobile which was guaranteed to the German owned company as a break-up fee.

It's likely that AT&T auditors are wanting AT&T to take the financial hit now, and the action that AT&T announced today is a sign the company has low confidence it can convince the FCC or the Justice Department that the deal is good for consumers. AT&T claimed the merger would create many new US jobs, while the US government claims the merger would result in a massive job loss and higher prices for cellular service.

AT&T was the first company to offer the Apple Phone. T-Mobile is now the only US carrier that does not sell it. Earlier this year both Verizon and Sprint have been able to offer the popular smartphone.

This article was originally published on Tuaw.