While AT&T's withdrawl from their merger position does allow the telecom giant to resubmit its request if it can beat a Justice Department antitrust suit over the deal, it may not want to now that the FCC has released its findings.
The 109-page staff report details exactly why FCC chairman Julius Genachowski put the kibosh on the deal. The FCC disagreed with virtually every one of company's claims asserting that it would in fact destroy jobs, not instigate any real growth of AT&T's 4G LTE network beyond what it could build by itself—actually, the company claimed it could build out to ~97 percent coverage with only a $3.8 billion investment—and eliminate competition in a staggering 99 percent of major mobile markets.
As Genachowski said in a statement,
Our review of this merger has had a clear focus: fostering a competitive market that drives innovation, promotes investment, encourages job creation, and protects consumers. These goals will remain the focus if any future merger application is filed.
If AT&T beats the odds and somehow wins its antitrust suit, it will get another six month window to court the FCC for approval, though at this point, it has a better chance of buying T-Mobile customers and spectrum from Leap Wireless. You can check out the full FCC filing here in pdf form. [GigaOM - Electronista - Image: the AP]