Completing his review of the SBC Communications-AT&T Corp. and Verizon Communications-MCI mergers under the Tunney Act, U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan declared that conditions attached to both mergers by the Justice Department (DOJ) serve the public interest, as he observed that “this court . . . is not tasked with deciding whether these mergers as a whole run afoul of the antitrust laws.” Sullivan’s ruling effectively shuts the door on efforts by the Alliance for Competition in Telecommunications, Comptel, and other groups to attach further conditions to the mergers or to change the terms of the companies’ settlements with the DOJ. In a 56-page opinion handed down late last week, Sullivan observed that the Tunney Act provides the court with a narrow role in merger review in which “the only question . . . is whether the divestitures agreed upon by the merging parties and the [DOJ] are in the public interest.” (To win DOJ approval of the transactions, SBC-AT&T and Verizon- MCI agreed to divest fiber optic business lines in certain areas that lacked a competitive provider.) Finding that the conditions agreed to by the merger parties and the DOJ serve the public interest, Sullivan proclaimed that, “under the amended Tunney Act, the court cannot reject the proposed settlements merely because the government failed to address antitrust issues not raised in its complaints.” Sullivan also wrote: “the court must accord deference to the government’s predictions about the efficacy of its remedies, and may not require that the remedies perfectly match the alleged violations” of antitrust law.