FCC Wants Further Scrutiny of AT&T T-Mobile Merger

November 23, 2011 -

AT&T is finding that making the $39 billion takeover of T-Mobile USA a reality will be an uphill battle. The mobile broadband operator expected the FCC and other U.S. government agencies to green light the merger, but this week FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski asked commissioners to send the proposal to a judge for a hearing and further scrutiny. FCC staff came to the conclusion that the proposed merger would "significantly diminish competition" and lead to job losses.

During a press briefing yesterday, FCC officials also disputed AT&T’s claims that the merger would create new jobs and "significantly spur" the expansion of wireless high-speed Internet.

Analyst like Jeffrey Silva at Medley Global Advisors believes that AT&T will have a long legal battle on its hands if it wants to salvage the deal.

"The FCC and DOJ work hand in hand," Silva told Bloomberg in a telephone interview. The FCC’s move "shows that AT&T has made no progress in the negotiations with the DOJ."

"It is yet another example of a government agency acting to prevent billions in new investment and the creation of many thousands of new jobs at a time when the U.S. economy desperately needs both," Larry Solomon, an AT&T spokesman, said in a statement.

While a trial is probable commissioners have yet to vote on Genachowski's recommendation for review by an agency judge. The administrative law judge presiding over the hearing delivers an initial verdict that is then voted on by agency commissioners.

Herbert Hovenkamp, a professor and antitrust expert at the University of Iowa College of Law, tells Bloomberg that the FCC's version of a trial is "farther-reaching than a court trial."

Andrew Lipman, a Washington-based partner with Bingham McCutchen LLP, said in an interview yesterday that this action is the first time since 2002 that the FCC has moved to bring a communications merger to a hearing before an agency judge.

"A hearing could go on for six to 12 months," Lipman said. "It’s certainly a significant obstacle and roadblock."

But the chances of AT&T simply giving up on the merger plan is unlikely because it will cost them a lot of money either way. AT&T has agreed to pay Deutsche Telekom a breakup fee of $3 billion as well as spectrum if the deal falls through for a total of as much as $7 billion.

"Too much money remains at stake for it to concede defeat and drop the deal," Andrew Gavil, an antitrust professor at Howard University School of Law in Washington, said in an interview. "They’ve locked themselves in to take it to the mat."

We will continue to follow this story as it develops. Source: Business Week

Posted in

Comments

Re: FCC Wants Further Scrutiny of AT&T T-Mobile Merger

Funny to watch the FCC pretend to care about questioning the merger.

 
Forgot your password?
Username :
Password :

Poll

Will we ever get Half-Life 3?:

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
Papa MidnightIt's hard to drape yourself in the glory of your righteous campaign when you're exposing the personal information of a person, and following up with a campaign of harassment (organised or ortherwise). 12 year olds calling your personal cell for Five Guys?10/02/2014 - 9:58am
prh99http://kotaku.com/anna-anthropy-designer-behind-dys4ia-and-triad-and-au-1448084641 <--relationship disclosed10/02/2014 - 9:57am
Papa MidnightEven to this day, that remains the primary citation of those embarking in it. That said, the whole "it's not about harrassment" thing is comparable to making an extremely racist statement, then following up by saying "but I'm not a racist."10/02/2014 - 9:56am
Papa MidnightI think EZK is more spot-on. This may have carried on far beyond it's genesis, but the true driving force of this whole astroturfing campaign was the angst of an ex-boyfriend of Zoe Quinn's.10/02/2014 - 9:54am
KronoAnd that's off the top of my head, specific to Kotaku.10/02/2014 - 9:54am
E. Zachary KnightKrono, yet no one can actually point at any "positive reviews" or otehr press given Quinn by Grayson.10/02/2014 - 9:53am
KronoBeyond that you have Patricia Hernandez writing reviews for, and plugging Anna Anthropy's work. Anna being Patricia's friend and former roomate.10/02/2014 - 9:52am
Sleaker@EZK - I believe there were a few more related to Patreon, and IGF. But regardless of the disclosure thing, that was only half of my statement, and I'm simply trying to speak on the reasons why GG got popular. But you sidestepped my last question there...10/02/2014 - 9:50am
KronoThe only questions is whether or you believe Grayson's previous friendship with her, and possible interest in starting a romance influenced his reporting.10/02/2014 - 9:48am
Krono@EZK There's nothing supposed about Grayson and Quinn having a relationship. Kotaku itself confirmed said romance matching the timeline Eron posted: http://goo.gl/yLgdx910/02/2014 - 9:46am
prh99So far the only "crimes" seem to be editorializing and collaboration outside their respective organizations. If they are going to persist at least point to something actually questionable.10/02/2014 - 9:45am
E. Zachary KnightSo aside from the supposed Kotaku/Quinn relationship, do you have a specific example of said lack of disclosure?10/02/2014 - 9:36am
prh99#gamergate renamed #butthurtfarce10/02/2014 - 9:31am
Sleakerwhat the message that they are actually trying to convey is.10/02/2014 - 9:30am
Sleakerthe fault of the journalist? If a large number of people read these articles and all came to the same conclusion that Gamers were being attacked by journalists as a whole, then it seems the burden of journalists to do a better job of explaining...10/02/2014 - 9:29am
Sleaker@EZK - It's not a surprise that articles came out. The surprise is when journalists fail to disclose relationships as they write about the trends, and the content by which the articles contain. Perhaps a large portion was misinterpreted, but isn't that10/02/2014 - 9:28am
prh99It definitely prolonged it, we wouldn't be hearing about Intel if not for Gamers are over/dead. Just additional wood for the fire.10/02/2014 - 9:23am
E. Zachary KnightConster, which sites associated "ALL" gamers with the harassment?10/02/2014 - 9:22am
E. Zachary KnightIs it really a surprise that 15 news sites responed to a very loud and very public shaming campaign against a woman critic of sexism and a woman being attacked unjustly because of the words of an ex-boyfriend.10/02/2014 - 9:19am
ConsterSo a bunch of assholes decided to harass people, sites wrote negative articles associating all gamers with said assholes, and people got so angry about the articles they decided to associate themselves with said assholes?10/02/2014 - 9:18am
 

Be Heard - Contact Your Politician