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Q&A With FCC Chairman Powell

Editor's note: At the recent Silicon Flatirons conference in Boulder, Colo., Federal Communications Commission chairman Michael Powell held a wide-ranging discussion with a small group of reporters, covering topics ranging from the achievements of his tenure atop the FCC, as well as the future of telecom regulation. The following are Powell's responses to questions and topics posed by the group of reporters:

On the Verizon-MCI deal:

Since the recent string of big mergers all still need to be reviewed by the FCC, Powell said he "reserves judgement" on individual deals. However, he did say that "there has been an expectation for a long time that there would be [telecom] market restructure."

Where the government erred, Powell said, was in not allowing such "vertical" mergers (between local and long-distance providers) to take place earlier.

"My view is that years ago, the government erred in restraining these kinds of mergers," Powell said. "If the statute hadn't prohibited it, we might now have four or five such competitive players in the market."

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