* New date for status conference is Dec. 9
* AT&T has been pushing for the court to move quickly
* FCC has moved separately to oppose the deal
Nov 28 The judge hearing the Justice
Department's challenge of AT&T Inc's plan to buy Deutsche
Telekom AG's T-Mobile USA unit has postponed a
status conference set for this week until early December, the
court said in an order issued on Monday.
Judge Ellen Huvelle, who is hearing the case, said in a
brief order that she was putting off a hearing set for
Wednesday until Dec. 9 "due to the court's scheduling
AT&T has been pressing for a quick trial to resolve the
Justice Department's antitrust challenge to its $39 billion
deal. The trial is scheduled to start Feb. 13.
The Federal Communications Commission, which also must
approve the deal, gave it a serious blow last week as the head
of the communications regulator, Chairman Julius Genachowski,
sent a draft order to fellow commissioners citing FCC staff
findings that the deal would significantly diminish competition
and lead to large job losses.
AT&T argues the deal will accelerate its expansion of
high-speed wireless service to nearly all Americans.
The case is United States v. AT&T et al, U.S. District
Court, District of Columbia, No. 11-1560.