FCC Source Says AT&T’s Acquisition of T-Mobile is Far from Guaranteed

Speaking with The Wall Street Journal, an anonymous official at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is seemingly pessimistic about the chances of AT&T in convincing the FCC chairman to sanction its planned $39 billion purchase of T-Mobile USA.

“There’s no way the chairman’s office rubber-stamps this transaction. It will be a steep climb to say the least,” the FCC official reportedly told The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday.

“We understand that Congress, the DOJ, the FCC, as well as wireless consumers will have questions about the transaction. We look forward to answering and addressing those questions,” said AT&T spokesman Michael Balmoris. “We are confident that the facts will demonstrate that the deal is in the public interest and that competition will continue to flourish.”

Just this past Tuesday, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski reiterated his agency’s commitment “to encouraging a competitive marketplace.”

“While we’re still working through details of a data-roaming framework, I believe the core proposition is beyond dispute: healthy competition produces greater innovation and investment, lower prices, and better service,” Genachowski said.

Many industry analysts believe it could take up to a year for the FCC to reach an ultimate decision.