Okay, Okay, so it’s not an actual shot clock, but the FCC has stopped it anyways. The backstory is that the FCC normally gives 180 days to complete merger reviews, and they just stopped the T-Mobile and AT&T one at 83 days. Stopping it isn’t a big deal, it has been done before, but the reason is very important. In this case, they are stopping it to allow AT&T time to rework their economic model. As Rick Kaplan, head of the FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, Said:
“Within the past week, AT&T has indicated that, since filing its public interest statement supporting its proposed acquisition of T-Mobile and its opposition comments to various petitions to deny the merger, it has developed new models upon which it now relies. Indeed, AT&T is now expressly relying on these models to bolster its arguments concerning the size of the efficiencies made possible by the merger as weighed against the potential anti-competitive effects.”
Michael Balmoris of AT&T said:
“AT&T has developed additional economic evidence that further confirms the tremendous efficiencies and consumer benefits resulting from this transaction, because this information, which we will submit next week, is detailed, we are not surprised that the FCC will take the time it needs to thoroughly understand our submission.”
The extra time will allow the FCC to evaluate and test the new evidence. So it seems that AT&T is reworking their deal because their current one may not be working. That doesn’t seem too confident to me.