In an interview with the Wall Street Journal an FCC official stated, “There’s no way the chairman’s office rubber-stamps this transaction. It will be a steep climb to say the least.”
Current issues around the merger are based around potentially making AT&T the largest mobile provider in the U.S., and that it would be the only one offering a GSM (Global System for Mobile Communication) network. Sprint and Verizon currently operate on a CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) network.
The FCC feels this merger would be a violation of the antitrust laws setup to prevent a single company from dominating an entire market. AT&T chief spokesperson Michael Balmoris stated, “We are confident that the facts will demonstrate that the deal is in the public interest and that competition will continue to flourish.”
AT&T has high confidence in the ability to sway the FCC on the ruling. During the merger proposition AT&T sweetened the deal to T-Mobile by offering $3 billion even if the FCC did not approve the transaction.