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Sens. Lee, Cornwyn Advise FCC To Make Its Own Decision On AT&T/T-Mobile

Add Senators Mike Lee (R-Utah) and John Cornyn (R-Tex.) to those urging the Federal Communications Commission and Department of Justice to vet the proposed AT&T/T-Mobile merger without giving too much weight to some congressional calls for its to deny the merger.

Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee, prominently sent a letter to FCC chairman Julius Genachowski and Attorney General Eric Holder asking that the merger be denied. That was followed this week by one from Rep. Lamar Smith, chair of the House Judiciary Committee, to the Genachowski and Holder, which advised them not to rule based on one side of the story.

Now Lee and Cornyn have associated themselve with Smith's remarks with yet another letter to the pair.

Cornyn and Lee said the merger "may" prove a positive step to worldclass wireless, but like Smith do not endorse the deal, which would work against their criticism of those legislators who have instructed the FCC on how to rule.

"Unlike some of our colleagues, who have specifically called for your agencies to block the merger on the basis of their own analysis of the public record," they wrote, "we urge you to evaluate all available evidence in deciding whether the proposed transaction accords with governing law." They argue those should include potential benefits "that deserve meaningful attention."

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.