Tennessee Gives Unconditional Approval to AT&T and Bell South Merger

The Tennessee Regulatory Authority gave their unconditional approval earlier this week to AT&T's $67 billion acquisition of BellSouth.

"I did not find any compelling evidence that this merger would do any harm to consumers," said TRA Chairman, Sara Kyle who was joined by Director, Pat Miller in approving the merger. A third TRA member, Ron Jones, tried to put conditions on the merger, but his amendment was voted down by the Kyle and Miller.

BellSouth Tennessee president, Marty Dickens, praised the decision saying that "this is two big companies coming together to become one big company, and that's going to be good for shareholders and consumers."

Dickens and other BellSouth executives believe that the huge merger will improve competition in the state by improving broadband access in rural areas and speeding up the deployment of AT&T's fiber optic IPTV network.

To complete their merger AT&T and BellSouth still need to gain approval from the U.S. Justice Department and FCC, as well as state authorities in Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia and Arizona.

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