- Associated Press - Friday, November 4, 2011

NEW YORK (AP) - AT&T says the deal to buy T-Mobile USA may take until the middle of next year to close, three months later than originally envisioned, as it fights antitrust regulators.

AT&T announced the $39 billion acquisition in March, saying it hoped to complete it in a year. But in August, the Justice Department filed a lawsuit to stop the deal, saying it could harm consumers by reducing competition and raising prices.

The case goes to trial on Feb. 13. Analysts give AT&T Inc. little chance of defeating the Justice Department and getting the deal through.

Dallas-based AT&T Inc. reported the new closing goal in a regulatory filing late Thursday.

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