TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: FCC Again Delays AT&T/Bell South Vote

FCC Again Delays AT&T/Bell South Vote

Associated Press News Wire (
Sat, 04 Nov 2006 18:44:50 -0600

The Federal Communications Commission has once again delayed its vote
on AT&T's $82 billion merger with BellSouth Corp., with Chairman Kevin
Martin admitting that negotiations are not progressing as fast as

"We have made progress," Martin told reporters after publicly meeting
with other FCC commissioners. "I always try to work with my colleagues,
but I think we're still pretty far apart and I think the progress has

Martin and his fellow Republican commissioner, Deborah Taylor Tate,
are having trouble reaching a deal with Jonathan Adelstein and Michael
Copps., two Democratic FCC members who favor putting a greater number
of conditions on the merger's approval.

If this deadlock continues, Martin is open to the idea of obtaining a
ruling from the FCC's general counsel that would allow Robert
McDowell, another Republican who is sitting out because of his
previous involvement with AT&T's competitors, to vote on the issue.

"I've been focused up until now, up until today, on just trying to make
sure that we work through all the different alternatives that any of the
commissioners have proposed," Martin said. "We're going to continue to
end up doing that; but we do have to take a step back and try to figure
where we should end up going from here."

Copyright 2006 Associated Press News Wire

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