AT&T Says It May Avoid Airwaves Auction On Restrictions

AT&T Inc. (T), the second-largest U.S. wireless carrier, said proposed U.S. bidding restrictions could prompt it to sit out an airwaves auction planned for next year.

Rules being planned by the Federal Communications Commission “are complicated and unnecessary” and would favor other companies, Joan Marsh, AT&T vice president-federal regulatory, said in a filing at the agency today.

The U.S. plans to sell airwaves given up by television stations so the frequencies can be used by the growing number of smartphones and other wireless devices.

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is proposing to limit the amount of airwaves any single company can buy at the sale, which may be the largest U.S. spectrum auction since 2008, a person briefed on the plan said earlier this month.

The restrictions “would put AT&T in an untenable position, forcing AT&T to reevaluate its potential participation in the auction,” Marsh wrote.

To contact the reporter on this story: Todd Shields in Washington at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Bernard Kohn at Romaine Bostick

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