AT&T Inc. (T)’s proposed purchase of T- Mobile USA Inc. faces a coordinated review by antitrust and communications agencies, a U.S. official said today.
The official, an aide at the Federal Communications Commission, spoke on condition of anonymity because Dallas-based AT&T hasn’t yet submitted the purchase for agency approval.
AT&T on March 20 proposed buying Deutsche Telekom AG (DTE)’s T- Mobile in a $39 billion deal that would combine the second- and fourth-largest carriers to create a new market leader, ahead of Verizon Wireless.
The deal needs approval from the FCC and Justice Department, and is to face hearings in Congress. The FCC and Justice Department will work on parallel tracks, and coordinate with one another, said the official who declined to be named in a telephone conference call with reporters.
FCC guidelines call for the agency to decide mergers within 180 days of an application being deemed complete, and reviews can take longer. Another official on the call who also declined to be named said the agency isn’t limited to 180 days, and the deal would be decided as promptly as is reasonable.
AT&T intends to file its application at the FCC around April 21, Michael Balmoris, a Washington-based spokesman, said in an e-mail.
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