DOJ approves AT&T, TCI merger

As expected, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) has approved the $US48 billion merger between AT&T and Tele-Communications Inc.

Approval by the DOJ was completed on December 28.

TCI has agreed to divest its interest in Sprint's PCS stock, which is to be handed over to an independent trustee before the deal is completed.

But before the merger takes effect, it still must be approved by the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC). While that approval also is expected, the FCC could require additional concessions.

"The stickiest areas have yet to be addressed and will be addressed when the FCC takes a look," analyst Jeffrey Kagan said in e-mail comments regarding the DOJ approval. "Competitors want this new company to be treated like a common carrier and want access to the new combined network. This is a can of worms AT&T wishes would go away. That will be the really interesting debate when the FCC fires up on this one."

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More about AT&TDepartment of JusticeDOJFCCFederal Communications CommissionSprintTele-CommunicationsUS Department of JusticeUS Federal Communications Commission

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