The Wall Street Journal is reporting that an un-named FCC official commented off the record that there is “no way that they chairman’s office rubber-stamps this transaction.” The source goes on to say, “It will be a steep climb to say the least”.
These off the record comments confirm what many have already been thinking, that it is going to be a difficult battle ahead for AT&T and T-Mo to get the merger deal done, and we can be sure that the other carriers are going to make it as difficult as possible. AT&T has to show that the merger will not violate anti-trust regulations by reducing competition in the US. There has been a lot of analysis on both sides of the issue, but it is too early to tell what the final outcome is going to be.
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The Wall Street Journal article went on to say that the FCC has not even begun to formally evaluate the deal, which again means that this will be a long process.