AT&T ends $39bn bid for T-Mobile USA

AT&T and T-Mobile logos
Image caption A combination of AT&T and T-Mobile USA would have become the biggest in the US

US telecoms giant AT&T has said it will not pursue its $39bn bid to buy T-Mobile USA after running into fierce government objections.

AT&T said the actions of the government to block the deal do not change the problems faced by the mobile phone industry.

It says it still requires more airwaves to expand.

If AT&T had bought T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom, it would have become the US's largest cellphone company.

AT&T is currently the country's second-largest wireless carrier, while T-Mobile is the fourth-largest.

The US Justice Department moved to block the merger in August, saying it would reduce competition and lead to higher prices.

Last month, the companies cast doubt on whether they would go through with the plan when they withdrew their application to the Federal Communications Commission after its chairman also opposed the deal.

AT&T has said it would include a $4bn charge in its fourth-quarter accounts to cover any potential compensation due if the deal does not go ahead.

AT&T agreed to buy T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom in March, aiming to create the largest US wireless network.

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