Surprising me by showing some serious backbone, the Justice Department's antitrust division just filed a lawsuit to block AT&T's horribly anticompetitive takeover of T-Mobile.
Historically, the filing of a lawsuit has been the end of a deal, not an opening for further negotiation. In 2000, the DOJ killed Worldcom's purchase of Sprint with a lawsuit and two years later nixed the Echostar/DirecTV merger. No lawsuits were filed back in the 90s when telecom and cable mergers went wild, although conditions and divestitures were often included.
But just now, Wall Street Journal M&A reporter Preeta Das tweeted: DOJ says that "door is open" -- so maybe there is room for settlement.
The end of this deal seems like great news for T-Mobile customers like me. The carrier gets $3 billion in cash and some additional spectrum under a break-up provision of the merger agreement. And we get to keep our super-low priced monthly plans (I save $30 a month from what I paid to be on AT&T with the iPhone). The only downside would be if T-Mobile's parent, Deutsche Telecom, decided to pull the plug on its US efforts.