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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

November 30, 2011 at 1:19 PM

Report: AT&T and T-Mobile may partner, if deal fails

AT&T and T-Mobile USA have a fallback plan in case their merger falls through, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

The story — emerging the day after the FCC released a report slamming AT&T’s merger plan — said the companies have discussed a joint venture that would pool their network assets.

Details aren’t clear and nothing’s final, but that sounds like a move that would enable the companies to jointly develop a nationwide LTE network and continue operating with separate brands and product lines.

That could preserve at least some of the T-Mobile headquarters jobs in Bellevue, unless the joint-venture is really just a repackaged version of the merger that consolidates nearly everything in Dallas and maintains the T-Mobile brand and customer base to win regulatory approval.

The Journal story said the joint venture “discussions are not advanced and were described by the people (familiar with the matter) more as a plan the two companies have on the backburner.”

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