AT&T and Qualcomm urge FCC to not delay deal approval

AT&T and Qualcomm are urging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to quickly give final approval to AT&T's purchase of $1.9 billion of wireless licenses from Qualcomm, despite calls for the agency to delay a decision.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said last month he was circulating an order with the other commissioners to approve to the deal, but the Rural Telecommunications Group filed a motion on Nov. 30 asking the FCC to put its review on hold.

The group argued that because the FCC had linked its review of the Qualcomm deal to its review of AT&T's proposed purchase of T-Mobile, it should not make a decision on the Qualcomm deal while the outcome of the T-Mobile deal is still in doubt. AT&T withdrew its application with the FCC to buy T-Mobile but says it plans to re-file if it survives the Justice Department's lawsuit to block the merger.

"RTG’s request that the Commission delay this proceeding until a future filing of the AT&T/[T-Mobile] applications at some undefined point simply makes no sense," AT&T and Qualcomm wrote in a joint filing on Friday. "A further delay also would be manifestly counter to the public interest."