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Congress

AT&T, Justice Department Head To Court Wednesday

September 20, 2011

Lawyers for AT&T and the Justice Department head to court on Wednesday for the first hearing in what could become a months-long trial over AT&T's bid to acquire T-Mobile.

Judge Ellen Huvelle is expected to limit the meeting to logistical issues about how she wants the case to proceed. She may announce the date of the trial.

As though they weren't already disagreeing about enough, AT&T has requested that the trial begin in January of next year, while the Justice Department would rather wait until March, one year after the deal was first announced.

The government moved last month to block the merger, the biggest deal of the year and the largest merger in wireless history. It says the merger is anti-competitive and anti-consumer.

The merger is still under review at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and that agency that agency is unlikely to take any actions that could undermine the Justice Department suit.

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