Fact: in order for AT&T to go through with its planned merger with T-Mobile, it has to get approval from the Justice Department and the Federal Communications Commission. So, with approval looking less and less likely, AT&T decided to pull its application with the FCC last month and focus on its hearing with the DOJ coming up in February. A shrewd corporate move, right?

Well not really, since the DOJ is now effectively saying “what’s the point?” Reuters quotes the DOJ’s attorney, Joseph Wayland: “It's not a real transaction until they file with the FCC.” The DOJ plans to file the request in the coming week. U.S. District Court Judge Ellen Huvelle is reviewing the request, but there’s no word on when she might approve/deny it.