FCC OKs AT&T’s Merger Application Withdrawal
The FCC accepted the withdrawal “without prejudice” meaning that AT&T can file again, with or without additional divestitures. Appended to the grant is a staff report that the FCC is circulating to the commissioners outlining why it believes the merger is not in the public interest. The 109-page report will be available online shortly. (See Can Cricket Save the AT&T/T-Mobile Merger? )
Notably, FCC officials said that AT&T is likely to upgrade its entire HSPA+ network to Long Term Evolution (LTE) even if the merger isn’t approved. Officials said there is no evidence it’d have to stop at 80 percent as AT&T has suggested.
Why this matters
This is good news for AT&T, although the report going public may prove to further stretch out its timetable for approval, if approval is even still in the cards for the carrier. AT&T will now focus on the U.S. Department of Justice beginning in February and plans to revisit the FCC if it wins at the DoJ.
You can find all of our coverage related to the merger here.
— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile