By Gautham Nagesh - 07/27/11 08:03 PM EDT
The Louisiana commission is empowered to reject AT&T's filing if it is found to be against the public interest, but the staff report argues the deal will result in at least $8 billion in investments, some of which will be in Louisiana, along with increased rural broadband coverage and new jobs in the state, thanks to AT&T's pledge to deploy next-generation wireless broadband nationwide.
"While Staff understands that Sprint disagrees with these contentions, the Joint Reply Comments contain a commitment to that affect [sic]," the report states.
"Staff also notes that the proposed acquisition has received overriding support locally, as is evidence by the diverse number of groups and officials who are in support."
Sprint noted in an emailed statement that the Commission voted not to oppose the merger and deferred to the FCC's ongoing review. Hawaii, California and West Virginia are still conducting reviews of the merger.
"Today’s Louisiana Public Service Commission decision not to oppose AT&T’s takeover bid for T-Mobile was far from the ringing endorsement AT&T sought," said Sprint spokesman John Taylor, expressing confidence the FCC and DOJ will block the deal.
"It’s quite clear from the evidence before the FCC that AT&T’s bid to takeover T-Mobile will harm consumers not just in Louisiana, but indeed across the country by raising prices, limiting competition and hurting innovation."
This story was updated at 5:46 p.m.