One of AT&T's more reasonable ideas for convincing US regulators that its takeover of T-Mobile would be good for competition was for the company to sell off some of its assets as a precondition to closing its merger deal. Alas, as the Wall Street Journal reports this morning, talks between AT&T and potential suitors for those assets appear to have cooled off, with AT&T apparently preferring to look at other options — such as a partial takeover of T-Mo or a joint venture with the Deutsche Telekom-owned carrier. The Journal's sources warn that the asset divestiture deal (or deals) could still go ahead, as nothing is being ruled out at this stage, but AT&T's initially bullish expectation that somehow its $39 billion acquisition would go through is looking increasingly under threat. After being repeatedly rebuffed by the FCC, the company may now finally be considering taking the $4 billion hit that its contract with Deutsche Telekom entails upon non-completion of the takeover and considering its next best option.