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FCC Releaes Report On AT&T/T-Mobile Merger Despite Withdrawal

The proposed AT&T/T-Mobile merger came to a head over the Thanskgiving holiday weekend as AT&T and Deutsche Telekom withdrew their application for merging from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Just as many American’s were preparing for their Thanksgiving weekend, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski had requested that the merger go to an administrative hearing by the FCC which would have happened this week.  Part of the decision to withdraw the application from the FCC was AT&T hoping to curb the FCC from releasing some of their concerns to the public.

Much to the surprise of AT&T and Deutsche Telekom the FCC went ahead and released those findings in a report made public Tuesday.

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The report made public concerns the FCC had including “material questions of fact”. The FCC disagreed with AT&T’s assertion that the merger would bring more jobs to the United States in fact they suggested that the merger would probably eliminate jobs as the two companies merged services.

The FCC also didn’t see why AT&T needed T-Mobile to rollout their 4G/LTE network nationally. AT&T had made claims at CES and other points, prior to the announcement of the merger, that they planned to have their entire network upgraded in the next few years.

Overall the FCC felt the merger was not in the public interest. The FCC contends that the merger would reduce competition and drive prices higher.

“Competition is the engine of our free market economy and a cornerstone of the FCC’s mandate,” FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said in a statement. “Our review of this merger has had a clear focus: fostering a competitive market that drives innovation, promotes investment, encourages job creation and protects consumers.”

AT&T was hoping to avoid the release of these questions to the public when they withdrew their application last week. AT&T’s top lobbyist Jim Cicconi said he found the release of the report “troubling”

“This report is not an order of the FCC and has never been voted on. It is simply a staff draft that raises questions of fact that were to be addressed in an administrative hearing, a hearing which will not now take place,” he said. “It has no force or effect under law, which raises questions as to why the FCC would choose to release it.”

source: Yahoo

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