If AT&T Prevails at Trial, It Faces Battle With FCC

Even if AT&T Inc. wins its court fight with the Justice Department over its bid to acquire Deutsche Telekom AG’s T-Mobile USA for $39 billion, the deal could still be torpedoed by the Federal Communications Commission, which has shown little liking for the combination.

The Justice Department, which filed suit Wednesday in federal court to block the acquisition, and the FCC are separate agencies with different standards for assessing mergers. But the two worked together as the Justice Department prepared its suit, and the FCC has never approved a deal that the Justice Department rejected, according to FCC officials.

“It’s a DOJ decision, but there was a lot of input from [FCC Chairman Julius] Genachowski’s team,” an FCC official said Thursday of the ruling.

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