The Federal Communications Commission late Thursday is headed toward approving AT&T Inc.’s $67 billion purchase of BellSouth with no conditions, sources close to the matter told Bloomberg.
The FCC could vote on the matter at its Oct. 12 meeting.
Following the merger, AT&T will own Cingular Wireless outright, and most likely will rename the division to AT&T Wireless.
The brand hasn’t been used since Cingular purchased AT&T Wireless in 2004 for $41 billion in cash.
But when AT&T announced its acquisition of BellSouth, it said the AT&T Wireless brand would re-emerge to replace Cingular.
(To make matters more complicated, AT&T today is actually the result of SBC Communications’ acquisition of AT&T; the merged company adopted the AT&T name. Cingular is jointly owned by SBC — now AT&T — and BellSouth.)
The move could be controversial because of how successful the Cingular Wireless brand has been and customer issues that propped up just before the merger with AT&T Wireless.
For those keeping track, here’s the lineage:
–In 1994, AT&T purchased McCaw Cellular Communications for $11.5 billion to form AT&T Wireless, based in Redmond.
— In April 2000, AT&T Wireless raised $10.6 billion in a public offering, making it the largest IPO ever at the time.
— In 2001, AT&T spun off AT&T Wireless to become a standalone company.
— In 2004, Cingular Wireless purchased AT&T Wireless for $41 billion in cash, and renamed the company AT&T Wireless.
Next up: Cingular Wireless will be renamed AT&T Wireless.