Tuesday, October 24, 2006

F.C.C. Tiebreaker’s Recusal Holds Up AT&T-BellSouth Deal

Approval from the Federal Communications Commission is all that stands in the way of AT&T’s purchase of BellSouth. But it is back to stalemate again at the F.C.C. because of the occasional bane of regulatory agencies: a recusal, The Los Angeles Times says.
The newest member of the F.C.C., Robert McDowell, holds the tie breaking vote, but has removed himself from voting on the deal because he used to lobby for an association of smaller phone companies that opposes the deal.
While Mr. McDowell’s recusal was expected, it has still roiled a process that AT&T and BellSouth had hoped would be wrapped up by now after the Justice Department gave the deal its blessing Oct. 11.

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