It's Official: AT&T/BellSouth Merger Gets FCC Approval

Includes: BLS, T
by: Tiernan Ray

It’s official: The Federal Communications Commission has approved (.pdf) the merger of AT&T (NYSE:T) and BellSouth (BLS) into one company after AT&T yesterday said it would embrace “Net Neutrality” in its Internet service.

AT&T’s last-minute offering seems like it made the difference. Without specifically referring to AT&T’s pledge of Net Neutrality, the FCC states that accelerated deployment of fast Internet connections is one benefit consumers can expect from the deal. Furthermore, the Commission says there’s so little overlap in the two companies’ service areas that there’s no real worry that competition will be affected by the combination of the two.

After hours, AT&T shares are unchanged at $35.75 after rising .7% during normal trading. BellSouth shares are also unchanged after rising .66% to $47.11.

Related: AT&T Post-Merger: Time to Pull the Plug, Net Neutrality: The Real Issue Behind the AT&T/BellSouth Showdown, AT&T Q3 2006 Earnings Call Transcript

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