FCC riles AT&T by releasing report on T-Mobile merger
AT&T said the report, which disputes the benefits of the merger, should not have been released
IDG News Service - The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has allowed AT&T to withdraw its application to buy the mobile licenses owned by T-Mobile USA, as AT&T had requested, but the agency has also released a staff report that disputes many of the benefits the two mobile carriers claimed the merger would produce.
AT&T and T-Mobile parent Deutsche Telekom withdrew their application to the FCC to transfer the mobile licenses after the agency announced on Nov. 22 that staff there had found the US$39 billion acquisition to be contrary to the public interest. The FCC on Tuesday granted the request to withdraw the license transfer application, but released the 157-page staff report on the merger despite opposition from AT&T.
AT&T and T-Mobile "have failed to meet their burden of demonstrating that the competitive harms that would result from the proposed transaction are outweighed by the claimed benefits," the staff report said. "The potential loss [of T-Mobile as a] competitive force in the market is a cause for serious concern."
The public and groups with interest in the merger have a right to see the staff report, said FCC officials who asked not to be named.
A request by merger opponents Public Knowledge and the Media Access Project for the FCC to release the staff report "would be unprecedented and have far-reaching effects on the future functioning of the FCC," Richard Wiley, a lawyer representing AT&T and a former FCC chairman, wrote in a letter to the agency before the report was released.
"We noted that the applications in this docket have been withdrawn and there is no transaction before the FCC for review," Wiley added. "Releasing staff workproduct [sic] concerning a matter no longer before the Commission would be unprecedented. In this case, the workproduct is highly deliberative in nature as it is a draft for consideration by the Commissioners ... This workproduct would in no way constitute official findings of the Commission."
AT&T called the release of the report "troubling." The report is an internal document meant to raise questions before a hearing before an administrative law judge, the company said. The next step for the FCC would have been an administrative hearing if AT&T had continued to pursue the license transfer application.
"This report is not an order of the FCC and has never been voted on," Jim Cicconi, AT&T's senior executive vice president for external and legislative affairs, said in a statement. "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."
- Best iPhone, iPad Business Apps for 2014
- 14 Tech Conventions You Should Attend in 2014
- 10 Desktop Apps to Power Your Windows PC
- How to Add New Job Skills Without Going Back to School
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Omnichannel: From Buzzword to Strategy Customers demand a seamless experience across channels, especially mobile. Read this whitepaper for a research-based framework for using omnichannel for higher customer engagement.
- The 5 Big Lies About Going Mobile You've heard about the power of mobile to change your business. But have you realized your mobile potential? It's about much more than...
- Developing a Winning Mobile Strategy: Playing Offense vs Defense Don't lose time and money with a "throw an app against a wall to see if sticks" approach to mobile. You need a...
- OpenStack Hype vs. Reality: CIO Quick Pulse Open-source architecture can enable IT departments to build infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) clouds running on standard hardware.
- Live Webcast On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy...
- Live Webcast Unmasking the Differences between Consumer and Enterprise File Sync & Share The consumerization of IT combined with the rapid pace of the modern mobile workplace is forcing enterprise IT teams to evaluate file sync...
- Live Webcast Workforce Mobilization for Improved Productivity A mobility research director from Aberdeen discusses reasons for extending legacy applications to mobile devices, and an integration strategist from Attachmate shows how...
- Getting Ready for BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10.2 Find out how BlackBerry® Enterprise Service 10 helps organizations address the full spectrum of EMM challenges, while balancing the needs of both the...
- Containerization Options: How to Choose the Best DLP Solution for Your Organization This webcast outlines a framework for making the right choice when it comes to containerization approaches, along with the pros and cons of... All Mobile/Wireless White Papers | Webcasts
As emerging technologies evolve they often find an initial niche in highly specialized scenarios, or in specific industry verticals, before expanding to wider areas of applicability. Within these initial niches, the early adopters can be anything from digital enthusiasts to fashionistas, or they can be folks simply using the technology because it serves a specific need extremely well. (free registration required) more