Julius Genachowski, the chairman of the U.S. Federal Communication Commission, has spoken out about AT&T’s proposed acquisition of T-Mobile and deemed the merger to be against the public interest. Genachowski has called for commissioners to vote for an administrative public hearing against the $39 billion, which could prove to be a huge setback for the two carriers.
Genachowski issued a draft order today in which he asks the other four commissioners to call for an administrative hearing, and says the merger would create an “unprecedented” level of concentration in the wireless market. He argues that it is impossible to see how the deal could be beneficial to the U.S. public.
As you’d expect, AT&T isn’t happy about the move. Larry Solomon, the carrier’s Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications, said the FCC’s actions are disappointing, and that the U.S. economy “desperately” needs the jobs that the merger will create:
“The FCC’s action today is disappointing. 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.”
However, the FCC disagrees, and claims that in fact, jobs would be lost as redundant positions are cut as part of the move. While AT&T claims jobs will be created for the rollout of the company’s 4G LTE network, the FCC argues that there’s no evidence to suggest the buyout would help speed up the proposed 4G rollout.
The FCC isn’t the first to oppose the merger; unsurprisingly, Sprint has also filed a formal petition with the FCC against the deal. As things stand, it’s certainly not looking good for AT&T.