By Brendan Sasso - 11/28/11 04:19 PM EST
On Friday, AT&T pushed back against media reports suggesting the FCC might not approve the company's request to withdraw its application, calling the reports inaccurate.
"We have every right to withdraw our merger from the FCC, and the FCC has no right to stop us," Wayne Watts, AT&T's general counsel, said in a statement. "Any suggestion the agency might do otherwise would be an abuse of procedure which we would immediately challenge in court.”
A senior FCC official acknowledged on Thursday that the agency had received AT&T's request to withdraw its application. "The Commission will consider that request," the official said.
AT&T decided to withdraw its application after learning that FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski was circulating an order with the other commissioners to have an administrative judge review the deal. That hearing, which would resemble a trial, could take months to complete. The commission would then vote on whether to block the deal.
Genachowski called Watts and AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson last Tuesday to inform them of the move.
— This post was updated at 12:02 p.m.