AT&T has completed its $2.8 billion purchase of Dobson Communications pursuant to the receipt of conditional FCC approval that requires the merged entity to divest overlapping wireless assets in four markets within the states of Kentucky, Oklahoma and Texas. The divestitures, outlined in an FCC notice released last Thursday, are three fewer than those agreed to last month by AT&T in a related Justice Department consent decree. While concluding that, “competitive harm is unlikely in most mobile telephony markets involved in the transaction,” the FCC found that “likely competitive harm will result” in the four affected markets without “conditions that will effectively remedy the potential for these particular harms.” In addition to requiring the disposal of overlapping licenses and related operational and network assets in the markets in question, the FCC is also subjecting the merged entity to an interim cap on its high cost support as a competitive eligible telecommunications carrier (CETC), based on the level of AT&T’s and Dobson’s CETC support as of June 2007. That condition mirrors a requirement that the FCC imposed recently on the acquisition of Alltel by a private equity venture. Like Alltel, AT&T-Dobson will also be required to disclose to the FCC its per-line costs and comply immediately with Phase II E911 location accuracy standards at the level of the public safety answering point. Commenting on the merger’s completion, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson proclaimed that, “AT&T's customers will enjoy deeper coverage in rural and suburban areas [while] Dobson's customers will have access to AT&T's full portfolio of innovative products and services.”