AT&T Chief Executive Randall Stephenson isn't exactly fond of the Federal Communications Commission considering the agency was a big reason the T-Mobile USA merger collapsed.
He's criticized the FCC before and now appears to be at it again.
In an interview with Bloomberg, Stephenson said the review of Verizon Wireless' $3.6 billion purchase of spectrum from cable companies is holding up related deals for airwaves by AT&T and others. On May 1, the FCC said it was extending its 180-day informal clock on its review of the deal (and a related spectrum agreement between Verizon and Cox) by 21 days because documents hadn't been produced in a timely manner. The FCC is just over halfway (92 days) through its review, according to its website on pending acquisitions.
"The industry is just kind of stuck and we're all sitting here watching Verizon-Comcast waiting to see what happens," he told Bloomberg. "You have got to make sure we put spectrum in the market. They need to become liquid spectrum markets."
AT&T had cited its need for spectrum as one of the most compelling reasons for its agreement to pay $39 billion for T-Mobile USA.
The FCC and Department of Justice strongly opposed the merger, leading to its collapse.
Earlier this month, as reported by The Wall Street Journal, Stephenson said the government's decision to block the deal will result in higher prices for consumers.
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski recently appeared to address Stephenson's remarks, saying, "The idea that competition is bad for consumers is at odds with history."