FCC lets AT&T pull back from T-Mobile wireless license acquisition

In a press conference Tuesday afternoon, the Federal Communications Commission announced that it will grant the request for AT&T and T-Mobile to withdraw their applications to transfer control of wireless licenses in AT&T's proposed $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile.

The commission will also release a redacted version of the staff report that examines the pros and cons that would arise if AT&T acquired T-Mobile.

In the 109 page report (.PDF Here), the FCC's staff explains that AT&T failed to convey that the acquisition of T-Mobile's wireless licenses would be consistent with the public interest, and details the ways how competition, benefits to consumers, and employment opportunities would all be reduced.

AT&T will continue to pursue the acquisition through a Department of Justice trial in February, and is likely to reopen its application with the FCC to transfer control of T-Mobile's wireless spectrum to AT&T at a later date.

The FCC said today that this acquisition would by far be the biggest exchange of mobile wireless licenses, and the closest one in terms of size would be the merger of AT&T Wireless, Cingular, and BellSouth more than five years ago.

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