FCC names antitrust lawyer to review AT&T, T-Mobile deal

Without saying a word about the matter, Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) could be making things tough for AT&T (NYSE: T) to merge with T-Mobile.

Having just completed a long and contentious process to study and approve the Comcast-NBCUniversal merger, the FCC started getting even more heat when Commissioner Meredith Atwell Baker announced she'd be leaving to take a job lobbying for Comcast.

Now, facing a similarly controversial review of AT&T's $39 billion takeover of T-Mobile, it's putting antitrust lawyer Renata Hesse on the payroll. Hesse, who worked on antitrust investigations of Microsoft and Oracle, will work with both Chairman Julius Genachowski and the Justice Department reviewing the proposal to create the nation's biggest wireless company.

Meanwhile, the FCC continues to feel the heat of Baker's decision to leave for the NBCUniversal job only months after voting to approve Comcast's acquisition of the giant entertainment conglomerate from General Electric.

"Baker was nearly lobbying for Comcast before she was officially offered a gig with the company," wrote Megan Tady in the Huffington Post. "In January Baker not only voted to approve the massive media merger, she also chastised the FCC for taking too long to deliberate on the merger. Now she's leaving the FCC to take a title she's already earned: senior vice president of government affairs (aka, head lobbyist)."

For more:
- the Washington Post has this story
- Huffington Post has this story

Special Report: Wireless startups: FierceWireless' Fierce 15 - 2011

Related articles:
Copps says AT&T, T-Mobile to have it tougher than Comcast
The brouhaha over Baker's move from the FCC to Comcast? Much ado about nothing
Cable's arrogance has a trickle-down effect on customer relations
FCC's Baker: 'I haven't done anything wrong'

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