Not good news for AT&T and BellSouth. After breezing through the Department of Justice's antitrust review, AT&T and BellSouth are now facing a divided Federal Communications Commission over their planned $67 billion merger, which is now close to $80 billion with AT&T's increased stock price. The FCC has delayed its vote on the merger until at least Nov. 3rd. The five-member commission has two Democrats and three Republicans, but one of the Republicans, Robert McDowell, removed himself from the vote because of previous work with a trade association that fought against AT&T and BellSouth in the past. The Justice Department's antitrust review angered consumer advocates, smaller phone companies and congressional lawmakers, mostly Democrats, who complained the merger wasn't in the best interest of consumers and should face at least some conditions.
For more about the FCC's merger vote delay:
- check out this article from The Wall Street Journal (sub. req.)
- DOJ approval sets off firestorm