FCC Official Goes Off The Record, Says “No Way Chairman’s Office Rubber Stamps” AT&T’s T-Mobile Acquisition

With Sprint and ClearWire both opposing AT&T’s $39 billion deal to acquire T-Mobile, the FCC doesn’t seem to see this deal happening, either.

Today, the Wall Street Journal spoke off the record with a Federal Communications Commission official who claims that, “There’s no way the chairman’s office [will] rubber-stamp” AT&T’s $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA from parent company Deutsche Telekom. The anonymous FCC official added that the approval process will be “a steep climb at least.”

According to the FCC official, the FCC hasn’t even begun to formally evaluate AT&T’s acquisition deal and will examine the deal based on whether it’s in the public’s best interest.

Meanwhile, AT&T remains confident that they can push the deal through, arguing that this transaction represents a major commitment to strengthen and expand critical infrastructure for our nation’s future as well as help achieve the President’s goals for a high-speed, wirelessly connected America.

The WSJ refers to a similar merger that had been doubted back in 2007 between XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Satellite radio, which FCC chairman Kevin Martin claimed would be a high hurdle to approve but ended up getting the green light. Current FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has yet to comment on the T-Mobile acquisition deal.

I’m definitely looking forward to seeing how this plays out with the regulators.

What do you think? Will the deal gain regulatory approval?