The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission plans to seek an administrative hearing on AT&T's proposed $39 billion deal to acquire T-Mobile USA, a person close to the matter told the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday.
The move by Chairman Julius Genachowski is a rare step taken in merger fights, and may mean the FCC doesn't believe the deal is in the best interest of the general public. If a hearing takes place, the burden of proof will rest with AT&T to prove the deal would benefit consumers.
The FCC's action today is disappointing, Larry Solomon, senior vice president of Corporate Communications, said in a statement. It is yet another example of a government agency acting to prevent billions in new investment and the creation of many thousands of new jobs at a time when the US economy desperately needs both.
The U.S. Department of Justice has also moved to block the merger from taking place. The trial begins Feb. 13. Sprint Nextel and C Spire wireless have also filed lawsuits regarding the matter.