FCC Likely to Stay Neutral on Wireless Competition

Federal telecommunications regulators are expected to take a neutral position on whether the wireless industry is competitive in a coming report on the mobile market, people familiar with the report said Tuesday.

The Federal Communications Commission’s latest assessment of competition in the wireless industry is likely to be closely read by industry observers hoping to find clues as to how the agency will rule on AT&T Inc.’s proposed $39 billion deal to acquire T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom AG. The FCC and the Justice Department are reviewing the deal.

The FCC’s annual report on competition in the wireless industry, which could be released next month, is expected to conclude–as it did last year–that the wireless-phone market has grown more concentrated over the years. But the agency will remain neutral on whether the wireless industry is competitive, sources said.

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