FCC chairman opposes AT&T takeover of T-Mobile

Nov 23, 2011 By RYAN NAKASHIMA , AP Business Writer

The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission has come out against the merger of cellphone giant AT&T and T-Mobile USA.

Julius Genachowski made his position known in a document he circulated to fellow commissioners Tuesday.

Genachowski recommended sending AT&T Inc.'s proposed $39 billion takeover of to an administrative law judge for review and a hearing. That's what the FCC does when it opposes a .

According to an FCC official familiar with the matter, an agency analysis concluded the merger would result in higher prices for consumers, less innovation, less investment in the U.S. and fewer U.S. jobs.

The review also cast doubt on AT&T's claim that only the merger would allow it build out "4G" high-speed wireless Internet access to cover 97 percent of the population, up from about 80 percent. The agency concluded AT&T would likely do so anyway to remain competitive with Verizon Wireless.

The official wasn't authorized to speak publicly.

AT&T spokesman Larry Solomon said in a statement that the chairman's action was "disappointing."

"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," he said. "At this time, we are reviewing all options."

The FCC would be the second government agency to oppose the deal. The Justice Department filed a lawsuit with the U.S. District Court in Washington in August to stop it, and that trial is expected to start Feb. 13.

Genachowski's proposed order recommends the administrative law judge begin the hearing after the trial is done.

The deal announced in March would vault the combined No. 2 carrier AT&T and No. 4 T-Mobile into the top spot ahead of Verizon.

Dallas-based AT&T has about 101 million wireless subscribers. T-Mobile, the Bellevue, Wash.-based subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom AG of Germany, has 34 million. Verizon Wireless, a joint venture between Verizon Communications Inc. and Vodafone Group PLC, has about 108 million, while Sprint Nextel Corp. has 53 million.

Explore further: Creating the fastest outdoor wireless Internet connection in the world

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

AT&T, T-Mobile pledge to bring 5,000 jobs to US

Aug 31, 2011

(AP) -- AT&T Inc. is pledging to bring 5,000 wireless call center jobs, currently based abroad, back to the U.S. if it is allowed to proceed with its proposed $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA.

AT&T's T-Mobile buy faces congressional scrutiny

May 11, 2011

US lawmakers grilled AT&T on Wednesday over its proposed $39 billion acquisition of rival T-Mobile USA, questioning whether the mega-merger would harm competition in the fast-growing wireless industry.

Facebook, Microsoft back AT&T's T-Mobile buy

Jun 07, 2011

Facebook, Microsoft, Oracle, Yahoo! and other technology leaders have come out in support of AT&T's proposed $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile saying it could help meet rising demand for wireless broadband.

Judge sets first hearing in AT&T anti-trust case

Sep 07, 2011

The federal judge hearing the US government's lawsuit seeking to block AT&T's $39 billion takeover of T-Mobile has set a first meeting to discuss the prospects for a settlement.

Sprint wants AT&T, T-Mobile deal blocked

Mar 28, 2011

Sprint Nextel, the third-largest US wireless provider, urged US regulators on Monday to block AT&T's $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA, saying it would harm competition.

Recommended for you

Cyclist's helmet, Volvo car to communicate for safety

8 hours ago

Volvo calls it "a wearable life-saving wearable cycling tech concept." The car maker is referring to a connected car and helmet prototype that enables two-way communication between Volvo drivers and cyclists ...

California puzzles over safety of driverless cars

9 hours ago

California's Department of Motor Vehicles will miss a year-end deadline to adopt new rules for cars of the future because regulators first have to figure out how they'll know whether "driverless" vehicles ...

Britain's UKIP issues online rules after gaffes

9 hours ago

UK Independence Party (UKIP), the British anti-European Union party, has ordered a crackdown on the use of social media by supporters and members following a series of controversies.

Sony saga blends foreign intrigue, star wattage

9 hours ago

The hackers who hit Sony Pictures Entertainment days before Thanksgiving crippled the network, stole gigabytes of data and spilled into public view unreleased films and reams of private and sometimes embarrassing ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.