While the FCC won't pursue the draft order signed by Chairman Julius Genachowski mandating the merger be brought before a Federal judge, AT&T isn't completely done. It's become a great deal harder -- its dealings with the Department of Justice are still looming, and in the meantime Reuters is reporting that the carrier's in talks with Leap Wireless to sell some of T-Mobile's assets -- mainly as a last-ditch effort to still gain the support of both governmental agencies. So this saga is far from over, but opponents of the merger can still sigh a breath of relief. Follow the break for AT&T and Sprint's official responses to today's decision.
Update: The report is now available! Head here to read all 109 pages of it.
AT&T's official statement:
The FCC has recognized that it is required by its own rules to dismiss our merger application. This makes all the more troubling their decision to nonetheless release a preliminary staff report on the merger. This report is not an order of the FCC and has never been voted on. It is simply a staff draft that raises questions of fact that were to be addressed in an administrative hearing, a hearing which will not now take place. It has no force or effect under law, which raises questions as to why the FCC would choose to release it. The draft report has also not been made available to AT&T prior to today, so we have had no opportunity to address or rebut its claims, which makes its release all the more improper.
Sprint's official statement:
Today the FCC released the results of its nearly eight month investigation into AT&T's proposed purchase of T-Mobile. FCC Chairman Genachowski and the staff of the Commission have listened to the American consumer. Consumers are best served when competition is allowed to thrive. At Sprint we share this view and applaud today's actions by the FCC.
The investigation's findings are clear: approval of AT&T's bid for T-Mobile would lead to higher prices for consumers, eliminate jobs, harm competition, and dampen innovation across the wireless industry.
These are the same conclusions which led the U.S. Department of Justice and a bi-partisan group of Attorneys General from seven states and Puerto Rico to sue AT&T, Deutsche Telekom and T-Mobile in Federal Court in an effort to block the transaction.
Most importantly, these are the same conclusions reached by tens of thousands of consumers from across the country who have spoken out overwhelmingly against AT&T's proposed takeover of T-Mobile.