AT&T announced this morning that the company has withdrawn its approval application from the U.S. Federal Communications Commission for their proposed T-Mobile acquisition.
As The Verge reports, both AT&T and Deutsch Telecom say that they will shift their focus to defeating an antitrust lawsuit filed by the Department of Justice against the proposed $39 billion merger.
This decision follows an earlier FCC decision to hold an administrative hearing about the purchase, in which the FCC said they were unclear whether the acquisition would actually create jobs, as AT&T insists.
AT&T is planning to take a $4 billion charge in case the deal doesn’t go through (a $3 billion payment due to Deutsch Telecom and $1 billion in value of spectrum AT&T would be giving up), which suggests they think there’s a strong chance that the acquisition will fail.
AT&T describes this as a tactical move to allow them to both focus more attention on getting the merger approved by the Department of Justice.