AT&T is set to file a "public interest statement" with the Federal Communications Commission Thursday afternoon that will outline its rationale for its proposed $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile. The "massive document" -- as one AT&T official described it -- is required by the agency as part of its regulatory review of the transaction.
The purchase must be approved by both the FCC and Justice Department's Antitrust Division to move forward.
Expect AT&T to expand on some of the themes it already has raised, including its arguments that the deal would enable it to offer more services -- such as superfast 4G wireless connectivity -- to more Americans, and would help alleviate a looming shortage of spectrum resources.
The companies also insist that the marketplace is sufficiently competitive to permit this union, which would remove the fourth largest wireless carrier (T-Mobile) from the marketplace, and push AT&T past Verizon to the number one spot.
Critics, including consumer groups and smaller rival carriers, say the deal should be blocked because the new AT&T and Verizon would be a duopoly that would control nearly 80 percent of the marketplace.
National Journal will have complete coverage of AT&T's filing this afternoon . . .