FCC names head of AT&T, T-Mobile merger review

The Federal Communications Commission named Renata Hesse, a Washington antitrust attorney, to oversee its review of AT&T’s proposal to buy T-Mobile for $39 billion.

The FCC said in a release that Hesse (no relation to Sprint Nextel CEO Dan Hesse), will oversee a working team that will conduct the agency’s inspection of the merger, which will determine ultimately if the acquisition is in the public’s interest.

As senior counsel to the chairman for transactions, she will work closely with FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski on the merger review. The FCC created a similar position for Comcast’s joint venture with NBC Universal.

Hesse is a partner at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosat, where she advises clients on complex merger and non-merger investigations before the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission.

She served at the Justice Department as the chief of networks and technology in the antitrust division and is expected to work closely with Justice on its separate review of AT&T and T-Mobile’s proposal to create the nation’s biggest wireless provider with 130 million subscribers.

At Justice, Hesse worked on the antitrust investigation of Microsoft and a suit against Oracle for its 2004 hostile bid for PeopleSoft.

Cecilia Kang is a senior technology correspondent for The Washington Post.

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