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Since AT&T Inc. announced Monday it was backing out of the $39 billion deal to avoid a lengthy and costly legal battle, the tech sector has been buzzing with what's next for both companies.
The acquisition of T-Mobile USA, a subsidiary of Germany-based Deutsche Telekom AG (PINK ADR: DTEGY), would have made AT&T the largest U.S. wireless carrier, leapfrogging current No. 1 Verizon Wireless (NYSE: VZ). It would have also thrown a lifeline to the ailing T-Mobile, the fourth-largest U.S. wireless provider behind Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint Nextel Corp. (NYSE: S).
But AT&T couldn't prove to the U.S. Justice Department, which filed an antitrust suit in August, that the deal wouldn't ruin competition by creating an industry duopoly. Ever since AT&T announced the plan in March, U.S. consumers feared future higher rates and fewer plan and phone options.