The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission is recommending approval of AT&T Inc.’s $67 billion purchase of BellSouth Corp., people familiar with the matter said Friday.
FCC Chairman Kevin Martin circulated a recommendation approving the purchase without conditions late Thursday night, meaning a formal vote is likely to occur at the agency’s Oct. 12 meeting.
The FCC’s action is unusual because it comes before the Justice Department has reached a decision on whether the deal will adversely affect competition and possibly harm consumers.
AT&T is already the largest telecommunications company in the U.S., reporting $62 billion in revenue in 2005 and serving customers in Texas, California and the Midwest. AT&T and BellSouth also co-own the nation’s largest mobile phone company, Cingular Wireless.
Supplier industry reacting to cuts
U.S. automakers’ production cuts are rippling through the supplier industry, with BorgWarner Inc. saying Friday that it is eliminating 13 percent of its North American work force and Lear Corp. earlier this week cutting its sales forecast by $300 million.
The U.S. Big Three are losing market share to Asian automakers at the same time that the U.S. economy is softening and domestic car sales are slowing.
Suppliers that do a heavy business with General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and DaimlerChrysler AG’s U.S.-based Chrysler Group are sharing their customers’ pain, an analyst says.
Options granted to dead executive
In one of the more unusual twists in the current wave of stock options irregularities, cable TV operator Cablevision Systems Corp. said it granted options to an executive after he died.
Cablevision restated its financial results Thursday because of improper stock options practices and said it had received a subpoena from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, which is investigating the company.
In a regulatory filing, Cablevision disclosed that it had granted options to an executive after his death, but improperly recorded the date of the grant to an earlier time when the executive was still alive.
Cablevision didn’t identify the executive. But the Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the situation, said the options were given to Vice Chairman Marc Lustgarten, who died in 1999. The Journal said Lustgarten’s estate was entitled to exercise the options upon his death.
– Compiled from