Last week, details of the proposed merger between Cingular Wireless and AT&T Wireless came to light. Tellingly, the FCC review is not likely to be completed until early 2005.
The key lines of the news story:
Telecom observers expect regulators to approve the deal, though they may require divestitures of customers and spectrum in some markets. The application was filed March 18, but it was not made public until late Friday.
Hard to see why the companies' 45 million subscribers, or millions of shareholders, should have less a say in the companies' future than a handful of regulators in Washington. Then again, the public interest is the guiding principle of merger review at the Commission unlike the consumer welfare guidelines used during the hoop-jumping at other federal agencies. Perhaps its time for a merger of the FCC, FTC, and DoJ review authority.