Yesterday, Federal Communications Commission chairman, Julius Genachowski, asked commissioners for an agency hearing to look into the AT&T/T-Mobile merger. This is a pretty big blow to AT&T, which is already facing an antitrust trial brought on by the Justice Department based on the merger. The FCC hearing could take months, maybe even a year, and will come after the Justice Department proceedings, which are set to start in February of next year.
From the Wall Street Journal:
The unusual decision by the Federal Communications Commission to call the hearing - its first such move in nine years - adds a new roadblock and forces AT&T to consider an unpalatable range of options.
AT&T’s Rock: Carry on with both cases, trying to prove that the nation’s number two carrier scooping up the number three doesn’t hurt competition.
AT&T’s Hard place :Drop the bid and pay T-Mobile $3 billion plus billions more in precious wireless spectrum.
AT&T claims that a merger would be good for jobs. In fact, it says it would create close to 100,000 jobs, but “an FCC official said the combination would lead to ‘massive job losses.’”