Now it's Monday, says the FCC, until it votes on the Verizon purchase of MCI and SBC acquisition of AT&T. It was supposed to be Friday but it seems some more jockeying is taking place, excuse me, "reviewing and negotiating conditions."
The commission is still minus one seat, vacant since FCC Chairman Michael Powell left. President Bush hasn't yet filled the vacancy--although I guess he's pretty busy. Although FCC Chairman Kevin Martin wanted to approve both deals without conditions, it's doubtful that will happen. Some of the conditions thrown out for consideration include freezing rates charged competitors for leasing SBC and Verizon networks, offering high-speed service without forcing customers to purchase local service, and price controls.
The Justice Department approved the mergers with the condition that they offer long-term leases to competitors for extra lines into 350 buildings nationwide. Doesn't that seem like a small number?