Federal regulators are expected to partake in a year-long review of AT&T's $39 billion bid to buy T-Mobile, a deal that would create the largest wireless carrier in the United States. Sprint and Clearwire have attacked the deal for harming competition.
Maury Mechanick, counsel at White & Case in Washington, said that the case presents a "conflict between different policies" for the Obama Administration and the regulators, between their policies on competition and their policy to expand broadband coverage to underserved areas.
He said that AT&T will argue that the broader public interest of the deal overrides any anti-competitive aspects.
Even with this argument though, Mechanick believes that AT&T faces an "uphill battle" to get approval, and it will require much "creative argumentation."