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FOLLOWING THE TELECOMMUNICATIONS INDUSTRY AND RELATED LEGAL TOPICS

Thursday, August 03, 2006

AT&T BellSouth Merger Docket Quiet: Tunney Act Fallout?

We have been closely monitoring the FCC docket in the AT&T/BellSouth merger and its been pretty quiet for the past few days. We're not sure whether the parties are reassessing strategy in light of next week's Tunney Act hearing or whether all of the lawyers for AT&T and BellSouth have retreated to their vacation homes on Martha's Vineyard for the month of August. In any event, today is day 105 on the FCC's 180 day self-imposed deadline for merger reviews and the conventional wisdom is that this merger will not be completed within the deadline.

The factors for the slow-down include first and foremost the November election (regulators and Congress don't want this anticompetitive debacle to be any kind of issue in the Election) and the Tunney Act bump in the road. Look for activity to pick up after Labor Day when the AT&T and BellSouth lawyers and executives get back from their vacations.

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