Justice Department OKs major telecom mergers
The U.S. Department of Justice yesterday approved the MCI-Verizon Communications and AT&T-SBC Communications mergers with relatively few conditions.
Instead of being required to divest assets, the telecom giants will be required to divest or sign 10-year leases with competitors for loops to certain buildings, according to a Legg Mason report. Under the DOJ decree, Verizon would need to sign 350 such deals for access to low-demand buildings in Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. SBC would sign 561 similar deals for buildings in Chicago, Detroit, Dallas, Kansas City and Los Angeles.
Today, the FCC is scheduled to consider final approval of both mergers, which would make both RBOCs significantly more attractive to enterprise customers. However, the FCC meeting has been delayed three times, with the commission currently scheduled to begin its deliberations at 5 p.m. EST.