FCC vote on telecom merger delayed again

[JURIST] The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) [official website] delayed a vote on the proposed $82.2 billion merger of BellSouth and AT&T [corporate websites] for the third time Thursday. The measure was previously delayed [JURIST report] to allow Democrats on the commission more time to study the proposal. An FCC official told Reuters that the group had made little progress in reaching a consensus.

The measure must be approved by a majority of the five FCC commissioners. Republicans hold a 3-2 majority, but Republican Commissioner Robert McDowell will abstain from voting because a conflict of interest. If a deadlock occurs, FCC Chairman Kevin Martin could petition the FCC general counsel to allow McDowell to vote.

The merger had already been approved [text] without reservation by the US Department of Justice Antitrust Division [official website] following an eight-month investigation that concluded that AT&T's proposed acquisition of BellSouth was not likely to "substantially reduce competition" in the US telecom market. Reuters has more.



 

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.