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McDowell: Some Conditions on AT&T/T-Mobile Merger 'May Be a Good Idea' McDowell: Some Conditions on AT&T/T-Mobile Merger 'May Be a Good ... McDowell: Some Conditions on AT&T/T-Mobile Merger 'May Be a Good Idea' McDowell: Some Conditions...

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Technology / TECHNOLOGY

McDowell: Some Conditions on AT&T/T-Mobile Merger 'May Be a Good Idea'

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski (center) meets with fellow members Robert McDowell and Meredith Attwell Baker.(Chet Susslin)

photo of Josh Smith
May 5, 2011

Federal Communications Commissioner Robert McDowell said on Thursday that he might support imposing conditions on AT&T’s proposed merger with T-Mobile, but only if they apply directly to the deal.

"If we’re putting in conditions that have nothing to do with the merger, then that concerns me and I tend to oppose those,” McDowell told National Journal.

“If they are narrowly tailored and are designed to cure a harm that arises from the merger, then it may be a good idea,” he added.

 

McDowell, one of two Republicans on the commission, stayed mum about any concerns he may have with the $39 billion deal, which AT&T announced in March, but he said he will be watching to make sure that the FCC takes an even-handed approach.

“What I’m looking for in the AT&T/T-Mobile merger is a process that’s fair, open, and thorough; and that examines all the relevant issues from as many perspectives as necessary to arrive at a fair result,” McDowell said. “I don’t want to prejudge the merger. Let’s wait for the record to become complete, then I’ll make a decision.”

Democratic Commissioner Michael Copps told NJ last month that the merger has too many “disturbing" ramifications for him to support at this time. He predicted that the deal will face a “steep climb” for approval at the FCC.

AT&T is seeking approval from the commission and the Justice Department, as well as some state governments. The process is expected to take at least a year.

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