There's no question that the potential AT&T-Mobile deal would have a huge impact on the industry, giving one company around 130 million subscribers and knocking the number of major carriers in the U.S. from four to three. The acquisition still has to go through a federal approval process, and although AT&T has tried to make sure that it does get the A-OK by doing things like promising LTE expansion in rural areas, one FCC official isn't so sure that the deal will get approved. Speaking with The Wall Street Journal, the official had this to say: "There's no way the chairman's office rubber-stamps this transaction. It will be a steep climb to say the least."
Although the deal, which is expected to spend around a year in the approval process, hasn't even begun to get evaluated by the government, it already has a number of detractors. Sprint has said that it plans to do what it can to fight the deal, and there are also a number of concerned users and politicians that have been voicing their concerns. AT&T is confident that the deal will happen though, and I'm willing to bet that they'll make a few concessions to try and get it approved. If it's not, ATT will have to fork $3 billion over to T-Mo as well as some spectrum that they don't consider "critical" to their LTE roll-out.