Dwight Silverman in his blog post, “Is AT&T’s Proposed Merger with T-Mobile Really Dead?” raises a very important point: It’s not over. While it is disappointing that the Federal Communications Commission has prematurely telegraphed its disapproval of the merger in conjunction with a lack of adequate disclosure as to why it opposees the merger in the first place, AT&T appears to be giving every last effort to save the transaction.
Yes, this company could walk away from the transaction. It’s scurried away the $4billion breakup fee. The markets appear to have built into their stock valuations the possibility the transaction won’t go through.
The company, however, has not given up. Quitting would send the wrong message about the seriousness of the spectrum crunch, a seriousness that even the FCC acknowledges when it cites AT&T data in support of its national broadband plan.
Quitting would also send the wrong message about how regulators should approach mergers and acquisitions. Quitting would tell regulators that it is okay for fear promoters to oppose a transaction because they think its too big. It would send the message that it’s okay to stop a merger without the use of quantitative financial or economic data. It would send a message that you can stop a merger with barbs and innuendo. It would send a message that participants in commerce cannot purchase the assets and resources necessary for increasing value and shareholder wealth. It would send a message that business is a joke.