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AT&T threatens to sue FCC

John Moe Nov 29, 2011

On today’s Tech Report we talked about the diminishing prospects for AT&T’s takeover of T-Mobile. A couple more wrinkles have emerged on that story.

First, the company is threatening to sue the FCC over the application submitted to the commission. Without getting into an avalanche of legalese that threatens to put us all to sleep, the FCC wants to hold hearings on the application and that’s a sign that they have some pretty big misgivings about letting AT&T become that powerful and own all that broadcast spectrum. Rather than fight the FCC, AT&T withdrew the application to instead focus on fighting the DOJ’s lawsuit. BUT! The FCC might not allow AT&T to do that and now AT&T is threatening to sue the FCC. This is all positioning and bluster, mind you, this is what attorneys and corporations and governmental bodies do.

Also, the New York Times is blogging that AT&T is in talks with Leap Wireless(!) that would involve selling a bunch of business to Leap and letting it become the new 4th major carrier in the market. This would be a concession to allow the sale of T-Mobile to go through and, in AT&T’s positioning, preserve competition.

Now, whether you see all this as AT&T’s preserving a bunch of options and stockpiling weapons OR last ditch efforts to save a sinking ship, I’ll leave that to you.

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