At Least One FCC Commissioner Thinks AT&T/T-Mobile Deal Won't Be A Cakewalk

With the pending $39 billion sale of T-Mobile to AT&T heading toward review by the various regulatory bodies involved, there is at least one senior FCC commissioner who thinks it might not be so easy for the deal to go down. Of course, he was the one commissioner who voted against the NBC/Comcast deal.

Speaking on an episode of C-Span that you’ll stumble upon in the middle of the night this weekend, FCC Commissioner Michael Copps said that it’s going to be an uphill battle for AT&T to swallow tiny T-Mobile like a whale noshing on krill.

“This is maybe even a steeper climb from the standpoint of a lot of power and a lot of influence given to one company in a world where two companies are going to control around 80 percent [of the market],” said Copps.

The commissioner also discussed the apparent tendency toward appeasing the largest commercial interests involved in mergers, coming up with concessions and conditions in the name of competition, instead of looking at the bigger issues for everyone.

“Sometimes it seems like we’re just the federal merger commission,” he said. “Why do we spend so much time trying to make what some people would deem unpalatable minimally acceptable? … Is that the best we can do for competition?”

Copps: AT&T merger a ‘steeper climb’ than Comcast/NBCU [TheHill.com]