Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Posted by D. Daniel Sokol
The thing that jumps out at me is a $3 billion break up fee to T-Mobile. This means in my mind that any merger challenge will be fully litigated out. That is, the parties seem to have lots of confidence in the merger. Personally, I am not convinced it is such a slam dunk. Put differently, I would love to be the lead attorney of the government case because this is the kind of case (where I give the government a 55-45 chance of winning the antitrust case) that can make a government lawyer's career.
But is a success by the merging parties actually a success? If a "success" means the deal goes through, I would suggest we redefine what success means as it may come at the expense of significant divestitures imposed either by DOJ or the FCC (hello Jon Baker) -- assuming that the parties can find someone who can buy the divested assets.
The session break hallway discussions at the ABA Antitrust Section Spring Meeting next week will be a lot more lively than I would have anticipated just three days ago. I also think this deal seems to be employing lots of attorneys in DC for the merging parties and other interested parties.