Exactly 30 days after announcing plans to acquire rival wireless carrier T-Mobile, AT&T Inc. filed Thursday the petition for authorization of the transaction at the Federal Communications Commission, the agency confirmed on its website.
If approved, the cash-and-stock buyout worth $39 billion would marry the second and fourth largest carriers in the U.S. market, and the number one and number three wireless providers in Puerto Rico.
The FCC’s review process is expected to take at least a year, as agency sources have already hinted that the transaction will require close analysis. Among other things, industry sources have said the FCC will study the transaction’s impact on competition and what is good for consumers.
In Puerto Rico, the deal must get the go-ahead from the Telecommunications Regulatory Board. Agency President Sandra Torres has already expressed reservations about the buyout’s effects on the local market.
Because this transaction will consider competitive matters, the FCC has already said it will keep certain documents under a “protective order,” or confidential.