The FCC has turned down public advocacy groups' request that the government reconsider its approval of the AT&T-MediaOne merger.
Consumers Union charged that AT&T was unlawfully given an extra six months to comply with the FCC's cap ownership limits and that the merger review was tainted by a series of undisclosed meetings between company officials and agency staff. The commission denied Wednesday that the merger approval was based on any information other than what was available publicly or made available to the Consumers Union and other advocacy groups.
The extra time to divest cable systems, which may not be necessary following a court decision striking down the cable ownership limits, was needed because AT&T's divestiture would have been particularly complicated, the FCC said.
- Bill McConnell