Justice asks judge to postpone AT&T/T-Mobile case

Brent Kendall for the Wall Street Journal:

In a setback for AT&T Inc., a Justice Department lawyer told a federal judge Friday the agency wants to postpone its antitrust case seeking to block the acquisition of T-Mobile USA. The request, if approved by the judge, would delay a trial slated for February and drag out the regulatory review of the $39 billion deal. AT&T and T-Mobile have said quick resolution of the court case is essential or the proposed merger will fall apart.

It’s a bit of chicken and egg here. The Department of Justice is asking the judge to postpone the trial because AT&T and T-Mobile have withdrawn their application for merger approval with the FCC, but the companies say they’ve done so to focus their attention on DoJ’s antitrust case.