John Dingell, in line to become the next chairman of the US House Energy and Commerce Committee, says he is not calling for a delay of a decision in the proposed acquisition of BellSouth Corp. by AT&T, an Associated Press report said.
Dingell, a Michigan Democrat, earlier it would in the best interest of the Federal Communications Commission to wait until after the first of the year to make a decision.
The FCC already has delayed a vote on the merger three times.
In an interview later in the day on CNBC, he backpedaled, saying he had 'not said that it should be delayed' but that the proposed deal should be 'looked at and looked into carefully.'
Dingell spokeswoman Jodi Seth clarified the congressman's position, saying he 'believes the FCC should take the time it needs to thoroughly examine the matter even if it takes until next year,' the Associated Press report said.
She also said that the congressman 'did not say anything about a hearing' in the conference call and 'does not currently have plans to hold any hearings.'