The FCC is requesting data from Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ), Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) and other wireless carriers as part of its review of AT&T's (NYSE:T) proposed $39 billion purchase of T-Mobile USA. Meanwhile, technology heavyweights, including Facebook, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) and Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM), have notified the FCC of their support of the deal.
The requests for data from the carriers are similar to ones the FCC made to AT&T and T-Mobile parent Deutsche Telekom. The FCC also asked MetroPCS (NASDAQ:PCS) Leap Wireless (NASDAQ:LEAP), U.S. Cellular and Cellular South for similiar information. The carriers have until June 20 to respond.
All of the companies will have to answer nine questions related to coverage maps, pricing, subscriber numbers, billing data, future network plans, cell site ownership, cell site and backhaul deals the carriers have with AT&T and T-Mobile, deals in general with AT&T and T-Mobile and concerns the carriers have about spectrum constraints and how they view their competitors. Some of the information will likely be redacted in the carriers' responses.
Meanwhile, Microsoft, which had previously vocalized its support of the deal, was joined by other technology firms including Facebook, Qualcomm, Research in Motion. Oracle, Yahoo and venture capital firms Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Sequoia Partners.
"The challenge of keeping pace with consumer demand and continuing to lead globally in wireless broadband services and products requires that we tackle the issue on multiple fronts," the technology companies said in their filing. "Many policy related efforts will not be able to quickly address near term capacity needs. The FCC must seriously weigh the benefits of this merger and approve it."
- see this FCC page
- see this FCC questionnaire
- see this NYT article
- see this GeekWire article (sub. req.)
- see this WSJ article (sub. req.)
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