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T-Mobile Merger Dead, But AT&T Continues to Bash FCC

AT&T apparently will not relent in its criticism of a regulatory agency that was partly responsible for killing its acquisition of T-Mobile USA.

The FCC subjected AT&T to “an arbitrary process” during the attempted $39 billion merger, AT&T’s Jim Cicconi said during a conference held by the Free State Foundation, Network World reported. Cicconi said the authority of the FCC needs to be reexamined in light of recent decisions, the report continued.

“Do we need two agencies reviewing mergers?” Network World quoted Cicconi, AT&T’s senior executive vice president for external and legislative affairs, as asking. “We learned last year that the [U.S. Department of Justice] is capable of killing a merger if it wants to.”

Late last year, AT&T withdrew its bid to acquire T-Mobile USA because it faced strong opposition from the FCC and Justice Department, which had filed a lawsuit to block the merger between the nation’s second- and fourth-largest wireless carriers.

Dallas-based AT&T has been critical of the Democrat-led FCC on a number of issues, including the merger.

In late November 2011, the FCC released a staff report that concluded the AT&T/T-Mobile deal ”would substantially lessen competition.” AT&T disagreed with Cicconi remarking in a blog posted Dec. 1 that the agency’s “document is so obviously one-sided that any fair-minded person reading it is left with the clear impression that it is an advocacy piece, and not a considered analysis.”


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