On or around April 21st the clock will begin ticking on an FCC investigation into the merger of AT&T and T-Mobile, proceedings that could last the better part of a year or longer. AT&T placed a bid to acquire T-Mobile from Duetsche Telekom for a hefty $39 billion, but whether or not it is approved depends on the findings of the FCC as to how the merger could affect the telecommunications industry.
The US Justice Department has also requested to review the merger with concern to antitrust laws. If AT&T successfully buys out T-Mobile, 80 percent of wireless subscribers in the US would be split between that conglomerate and Verizon. Sprint, the lone underdog, has vocally opposed the notion. There have been numerous independent analyses going both in the favor of AT&T and against the proposed merged, some saying customers will benefit while others believe the wireless subscriber loses in the long run. It is an issue that will continue to be hotly debated until the FCC reaches their final decision.