FCC OKs recused commissioner to vote on ATT/BellSouth

Dec 08 2006 - 06:10 PM ET | In The News

Lawyers for the Federal Communications Commission have approved Robert McDowell to cast the tie-breaking vote in AT&T's proposed merger with BellSouth. McDowell recused himself from the vote early in the process because of a conflict of interest he had in a previous job.

The other four FCC commissioners are locked into a tie in the approval vote. If McDowell does indeed cast a vote (it's still up to him, today's ruling just means he is legally able) it's expected to be a vote of approval. He issued a statement after getting the news, noting that he was still going over it and offered up some advice:

"In the meantime, I strongly urge the participating parties and my four colleagues to resolve their differences in the same amicable and unified manner they did in the similar merger between SBC and AT&T just last year," McDowell said in a statement.

For background on this story, please read our last piece. The official authorization memo is also available straight from the FCC as a PDF.