OVERNIGHT TECH: Outlook for AT&T/ T-Mobile deal grows bleaker

FCC officials said they chose to recommend a hearing after concluding the merger would likely stifle competition and destroy jobs. If the FCC votes to block the merger, AT&T could appeal the decision in federal court, dragging out the process even longer.

Larry Solomon, senior vice president of corporate communications for AT&T, slammed the FCC, calling its decision "yet another example of a government agency acting to prevent billions in new investment and the creation of many thousands of new jobs at a time when the US economy desperately needs both."

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The comment echoed Republican accusations that the FCC and other regulatory agencies in the Obama administration are imposing job-killing burdens on businesses.

The FCC fired back at AT&T with its only public statement on the move. "The record clearly shows that — in no uncertain terms — this merger would result in a massive loss of US jobs and investment," a senior FCC official said.

Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) praised Genachowski's decision.

“By taking action today, Chairman Genachowski is making clear he has serious concerns about the so-called benefits to the public interest of the proposed AT&T – T-Mobile merger. I have concerns that if this merger happens, it would result in the greatest concentration of wireless services in history, undermining choice and competition," he said in a statement. "This deal would strike a devastating blow to wireless services, driving up prices for consumers, discouraging investment in new technologies and stifling innovation that will help America win in the global marketplace.”

Hearing-impaired oppose House online piracy bill: The National Association of the Deaf sent a letter to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and ranking member John Conyers (D-Mich.) on Tuesday voicing opposition to the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). The legislation would allow the government and copyright holders to demand search engines, social networks and other Web firms delete links to sites deemed dedicated to online piracy. The bill has drawn a broad coalition of opposition on claims it would lead to censorship and undermine the current structure of the Internet. The NAD argues SOPA may cause websites to avoid allowing captions on videos, which would harm their membership. They ask the House to avoid passing the bill until its provisions have been narrowed.

FTC charges firm with violating Do Not Call list: The Federal Trade Commission filed a complaint recently against Sonkei Communications, claiming the firm sold robocall services to telemarketers that allowed them to mask their identities on caller ID. The FTC also alleges the defendants knew or avoided knowing that their clients called numbers included in the National Do Not Call Registry.