Before the FCC could vote on its chairman's order, AT&T withdrew its merger application from the agency which is giving the carrier the chance to resubmit it at a later date. Besides reducing competition and raising prices in the industry, the study says that the merger would also lead to fewer jobs.
Jim Cicconi, AT&T's senior executive vice president of external and legislative affairs noted that the report is not an officially voted on order from the FCC. Instead, it is a draft that would be used to raise questions of fact during an administrative hearing. That hearing, of course, will not take place since AT&T withdrew its application. AT&T is now trying to pull an end run around the FCC by suing the Department of Justice to gain approval for the deal. That court battle begins February 13th. The carrier says that it will refile its application with the FCC if it manages to win the suit against the DOJ and gains approval from them for the merger.