AT&T asks FCC to deny Sprint-Clearwire merger

AT&T has asked the FCC to deny the planned merger between Sprint Nextel and Clearwire. The operator, which has the largest subscriber base in the U.S., argued that the venture would eventually use spectrum leased from schools, cities and nonprofits and that the spectrum hasn't been fully accounted for in the proposed merger. Earlier this year, Clearwire and Sprint announced their intention to combine their WiMAX businesses with the help of $3.2 billion from Intel, Google, Comcast, Time Warner and Bright House.

AT&T argues that when it purchased Dobson Communications last year, the FCC took into account spectrum AT&T has not yet accessed. In its filing, AT&T states that Clearwire and Sprint "openly state that they intend to compete with other national wireless providers--including AT&T--yet they fail to make the required showings necessary for the commission's review."

AT&T said Sprint and Clearwire, in listing their spectrum holdings, have discounted some spectrum they intend to use because it isn't operational yet. If the FCC would take into account all of the combined entity's spectrum holdings, the merger would be put under much higher scrutiny, AT&T argued.

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Related story:
A breakdown of the Sprint-Clearwire deal. Sprint-Clearwire deal story