AT&T, T-Mobile to file with FCC around April 21

WASHINGTON Thu Apr 14, 2011 12:17pm EDT

AT&T Inc. CEO Randall Stephenson, (C) joined by Jim Cicconi, senior executive vice president-external and legislative affairs for AT&T and Wayne Watts, (R) Senior Executive Vice President and ATT&T General Counsel, speaks at a news conference to announce the company's proposal to buy T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom in New York, March 21, 2011. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

AT&T Inc. CEO Randall Stephenson, (C) joined by Jim Cicconi, senior executive vice president-external and legislative affairs for AT&T and Wayne Watts, (R) Senior Executive Vice President and ATT&T General Counsel, speaks at a news conference to announce the company's proposal to buy T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom in New York, March 21, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Brendan McDermid

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - AT&T Inc and T-Mobile USA plan to file paperwork about their planned merger with the Federal Communications Commission next week.

"We plan to file our public interest statement at the FCC around April 21," AT&T's Michael Balmoris said in an email on Thursday.

AT&T's $39 billion bid to buy Deutsche Telekom AG's T-Mobile USA will also be reviewed by the Justice Department to ensure it does not violate antitrust law. The request for the Justice Department review was filed last Friday.

The FCC will review the proposed deal to ensure it is in the public interest.

The review process could easily take a year.

The deal would concentrate 80 percent of U.S. wireless contract customers in just two companies -- AT&T/T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless, a joint venture of Verizon Communications and Vodafone Group Plc.

AT&T, currently the No. 2 U.S. mobile carrier behind Verizon, has said the merger will spur innovation and economic growth by improving quality and expanding wireless service to 95 percent of Americans.

(Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)

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