AT&T Will Use Sullivan & Cromwell in $39 Billion Purchase of T-Mobile USA
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AT&T has plans to buy T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom for $39 billion.  The lead firms that are going to be representing AT&T and Deutsche Telekom are Sullivan & Cromwell and Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz.

Sullivan and Cromwell is using a team led by New York partner Joseph Frumkin and LA partner Eric Krautheimer, which is giving advice to AT&T on the deal.  LA partner Hydee Feldstein is giving advice to the company on financing, while Frankfurt corporate partner Wolfgang Feuring is in charge of any German law matters.  Two other partners from New York are also part of the team.  These two partners are Andrew Mason, tax partner, and benefits/executive compensation partner, Matthew Friestedt.  Regulatory advice is also being given to AT&T by Crowell & Moring and Arnold & Porter.


Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz is representing Deutsche Telekom in the deal.  The firm is being led by corporate partners Steven Cohen and Adam Emmerich.  Two other firms, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and Wiley Rein are also giving advice to Deutsche Telekom.

An equity stake in AT&T will be given to Deutsche Telekom as part of the deal, and a representative from Deutsche Telekom will join AT&T’s board of directors.

Although AT&T and T-Mobile have approved the deal in both of their company boards, if this goes through, it will create the biggest cellular carrier in the United States.  Combining T-Mobile USA’s 34 million subscribers with AT&T’s 95.5 million will push them above Verizon’s 94.1 million subscribers.

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According to the Wall Street Journal, this deal is likely going to be of “particular concern to antitrust enforcers because the industry’s two dominant companies – Verizon Wireless, a joint venture of Vodafone Group PLC and Verizon Communications, and AT&T – are already so far ahead of anyone else, raising the specter of an effective duopoly in mobile telephony.”

According to the companies, this deal will provide both parties with “an optimal combination of network assets to add capacity sooner than any alternative, and it provides an opportunity to improve network quality in the near term for both companies’ customers.  In addition, it provides a fast, efficient and certain solution to the impending exhaustion of wireless spectrum in some markets…”

In “approximately 12 months” the deal is expected to close, according to a statement from AT&T.  If the deal does not end up going through, AT&T will pay a $3 billion breakup fee.


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