Over the Thanksgiving Holiday AT&T withdrew it’s application to merge with T-Mobile from the FCC. This came in response to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski requesting an FCC administrative hearing on the proposed merger. It was also widely speculated that AT&T was hoping to suppress information that the FCC may release during that hearing.
The FCC took it upon themselves to release the information in a “Staff Report” earlier this week despite the transaction being withdrawn.
More after the break
The report was in no way favorable of the proposed merger. Within the report the FCC disagreed with AT&T’s claim that they would create more jobs after the merger. They also rebutted claims that the merger would increase competition and drive prices down.
AT&T has now responded to the FCC staff report saying that the FCC’s report was “so obviously one-sided”.
In their response posted here AT&T still sticks by their guns and insists the merger would create more jobs. They also insist that they do in fact need the merger to continue to rollout 4G LTE. While the FCC contends that AT&T would have to do that regardless of merger, AT&T seems to think that a merger with T-Mobile would help them in rural areas where they can’t necessarily make a hefty capital investment.
Regardless of the contents of either report one thing is clear, the FCC isn’t going to just let any merger between AT&T and T-Mobile just sail through. While AT&T has withdrawn their initial merger proposal from the FCC they said earlier this week that they still plan on merging with T-Mobile.
Reports earlier today have suggested that AT&T and Deutsche Telekom may undertake some joint venture to circumvent the initial merger proposal.