FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell said yesterday that he would not vote on the proposed merger between AT&T and BellSouth. McDowell, who recused himself, had worked for a trade group that opposes the deal.
FCC Chairman Kevin Martin has asked his agency's general counsel whether Commissioner Robert McDowell's recusal in the agency's consideration of AT&T's acquisition of BellSouth should be reconsidered. McDowell, a former lobbyist for a trade group that opposes the merger, recused himself from voting on the deal, which is currently deadlocked at 2-2 among the other commissioners. The Antitrust Division of the Justice Department has already approved the deal.
The Tennessee Regulatory Authority has given the go-ahead, without additional conditions, to AT&T Inc.'s $67 billion acquisition of BellSouth. The TRA is one of 18 state and several federal agencies that is reviewing the terms of the deal, which will create the nation's biggest telecom company and largest provider of broadband.