There were signs that AT&T's buyout of T-Mobile will get a rough ride, if it even manages to get through.
A Federal Communications Commission official told the Wall Street Journal that there was no way the chairman’s office will rubber-stamp AT&T’s $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile. He hinted that the approval process will be “a steep climb at least.”
That statement was made even before the FCC had started to evaluate the deal. The official said that it would be looked at, denied or accepted based on whether or not it will be in the best interest of consumers.
The FCC has doubted and then allowed mergers before, such as the one beween XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Satellite radio, which FCC chairman Kevin Martin said would be a high hurdle to approve back in 2007. But current FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said that “healthy competition produces greater innovation and investment, lower prices, and better service.”
If AT&T’s purchase of T-Mobile goes ahead then it would dramatically decrease the amount of competition in the U.S. wireless market, with just three major carriers competing for customers.