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July 15, 2002

FCC Chair Invites Bells to Buy WorldCom

Michael Powell, chair of the FCC, indicated in a Wall Street Journal article that the Commission would look favorably on a Bell takeover of WorldCom's assets. While not quite giving any deal a free pass, Powell said regulators "would take into consideration the duress and state of the market." As I've noted, I think the integration of unionbusting WorldCom into the union-friendly embrace of a company like SBC could only be a good thing for workers in the telecom industry. So for once, a Bush appointee is pursuing policy I agree with-- if only out of regulatory desperation.

Posted by Nathan at July 15, 2002 05:09 PM

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Such a deal would receive the benefit of the "failing firm defense," which is:

But for this acquirer, or one equally troubling, the assets would exit the market as an independent competitor. This doctrine is a widely accepted, mainstream component of antitrust/competition doctrine, although of course subject to misapplication.

Posted by: Jeff at July 15, 2002 06:35 PM

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