Comments about AT&T’s plan to acquire T-Mobile USA have flooded the FCC’s electronic comment filing system.
More than 3,000 people have submitted comments on the massive merger since the agency set deadlines for its review of the deal last Thursday, according to a search of the FCC’s electronic comment filing system.
The FCC did not directly respond to questions about whether it would actually read every single comment in its review of the transaction, or whether the volume of comments was typical for the large transaction.
“FCC staff has a great deal of experience in reviewing major transactions, and has the systems and resources in place to thoroughly review and analyze the application and the public filings in response to the application,” a spokesman for the agency said.
A quick review of the comments indicate the majority of them were submitted by consumers opposed to AT&T’s buyout of T-Mobile. The comments are filed under WT Docket No. 11-65 and can be accessed on the FCC’s website.
Stakeholders who want the FCC to block the deal have until May 31, 2011 to file their petitions to deny. Oppositions to those petitions must be filed by June 10, 2011, and rebuttals to those comments are due June 20, 2011.
Many of AT&T’s smaller competitors, namely Sprint, Cellular South and other members of the Rural Cellular Association, want the FCC to block the operator’s merger with T-Mobile.
The AFL-CIO and the Communication Workers of America support the deal, saying it will give T-Mobile employees the chance to join AT&T worker unions. AT&T is the only unionized wireless company in the United States.
If regulators approve AT&T’s acquisition of T-Mobile, the company would become the largest operator in the country and leave Sprint in a distant third place.