August 26, 2011 / 2:35 PM / 8 years ago

FCC restarts clock on AT&T/T-Mobile deal review

* FCC restarts clock after pause started July 20

* AT&T shares fall 1.3 pct on NYSE

NEW YORK, Aug 26 (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Communications Commission said it has restarted the clock on its review of AT&T Inc’s (T.N) proposed $39 billion purchase of smaller rival T-Mobile USA.

The FCC, which had started examining the deal in late April, had paused what is typically a 180-day review of the deal on July 20 after AT&T said it would submit new arguments to support its application.

The regulator said it restarted the process on Friday, day 83 of the review, after it received answers to questions it had asked AT&T, the No. 2 U.S. mobile service.

AT&T says it need to buy the unit of Deutsche Telekom AG (DTEGn.DE) because it needs additional spectrum to offer high-speed wireless service. But the proposed deal has proven controversial as rivals such as Sprint Nextel Corp (S.N) have said the deal, which would vault AT&T to a leading position in the U.S. market, would hurt competition here.

AT&T has said it expects the deal, announced in late March, to be completed in roughly a year. In morning trade, AT&T shares were off 1.3 percent to $28.67. (Reporting by Sinead Carew; editing by Gerald E. McCormick)

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