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FCC Chairman wants a judicial review of proposed AT&T purchase of T-Mobile

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FCC Chairman wants a judicial review of proposed AT&T purchase of T-Mobile
The FCC waited a long time to reach a conclusion on the proposed purchase by AT&T of T-Mobile. On Tuesday, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski sent a draft order to his fellow commissioners saying that FCC staff has found that if the deal is completed, it would lead to a lower level of competition in the industry along with job cuts. As a result, the FCC Chairman wants an administrative law judge to review the deal

Genachowski's order still needs to be voted on and approved by a majority of commissioners and if it passes, the review would prolong the closing of the deal well beyond the early 2012 timetable that AT&T had in mind for closing the deal. The carrier responded by saying, "The FCC’s action today is 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 US economy desperately needs both."

The Department of Justice has already sought to block the deal by suing to block the $39 billion purchase by AT&T of the nation's fourth largest carrier. And while AT&T has promised to bring 5,000 jobs back to the States after the deal closes, both the DOJ and the FCC appear to fear a sharp drop in competition that could occur as a result of the merger. Competition and not jobs might be the main issue as recently, the CWA said that a purchase of T-Mobile by AT&T could lead to the creation of as many as 96,000 jobs.

The nation's third largest carrier, Sprint, has been vocal in asking the government to block the deal which would leave AT&T as the largest carrier in the U.S., passing over the current number one ranked Verizon Wireless. Even with that incentive, if a possible closing of the deal starts to push out toward the end of 2012 or into early 2013, it might force AT&T to pull the plug on the whole idea.

source: Reuters via AndroidCentral

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