FCC releases analysis on AT&T deal, AT&T responds

On Tuesday, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released a 109-page analysis and findings report on AT&T’s (Dallas, Texas, U.S.A.) proposed $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA (Bellevue, Wash., U.S.A.).  In the report, the FCC said the acquisition would limit competition and higher prices for customers.

The release of the analysis comes the same day that the FCC allowed AT&T to withdraw its acquisition application so the network operator could focus on the upcoming lawsuit with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), who filed a lawsuit against AT&T in late August.  The trail is set for February.

In response to the analysis, AT&T released a statement from Jim Cicconi, senior executive vice president of external legislative affairs, which called the FCC’s decision to release the analysis “troubling.”

“This report is not an order of the FCC and has never been voted on,” says Cicconi. “It has no force or effect under law, which raises questions as to why the FCC would choose to release it.  The draft report has also not been made available to AT&T prior to today, so we have had no opportunity to address or rebut its claims, which makes its release all the more improper. ”

In the report, the FCC said that AT&T submitted an Economic model, but that it “does not provide any basis to conclude that there would be no harm to consumers.”

Instead, the FCC states that the Economic Model submitted leads them to believe that prices will increase, therefore hurting consumers.

In an attempt to salvage the deal, it is reported that AT&T is now looking to sell assets to make the deal more attracted to the FCC and DOJ.  Leap Wireless (San Diego, Calif., U.S.A.) and MetroPCS (Richardson, Texas, U.S.A.) are allegedly potential candidates for an asset sale.

According to a Reuters report, AT&T would have to sell up to 40% of T-Mobile assets to make the deal go through.

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