FCC approves mergers with some restrictions

As expected, the FCC has finally given the OK to SBC's $18 billion merger with AT&T and Verizon's $8.5 billion acquisition of MCI. Rumors peg last week's delay as an attempt to bring the two Democratic commissioners aboard for approval. SBC and Verizon will still have to offer naked DSL and freeze prices on their wholesale access to other providers. The restrictions also include vague language about neutrality clauses and MCI not breaking any peer arrangements. FCC Chairman Kevin Martin said he knew that some have expressed antitrust concerns about these mergers, but the DOJ's restrictions will take care of those.

For more on the FCC's approval of the big mergers:
- see this piece from the Register