AT&T to FCC: Deny Sprint-Clearwire plan

AT&T filed a petition with the Federal Communications Commission late last week asking the agency not to approve the Sprint-Clearwire joint venture involving a merger of the companies' spectrum assets. AT&T said that spectrum owned but both companies but not currently in operation is being kept from regulatory consideration of the deal, even though AT&T's inoperational spectrum assets were scrutinized during evaluation of AT&T's acquisition of Dobson Communications.

With its 4G ambitions, the WiMAX-centric deal between Sprint, Clearwire and several other firms could increase the competitive threat against AT&T in the wireless market, though it is still fair to say the eventual success of WiMAX certainly is not guaranteed. It is not surprising that AT&T is looking for any possible regulatory hurdle to prop up that might slow down the progress of this deal, but the irony of Ma Consolidator herself crying foul against such a merger is hard to miss here.

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