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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