Updated from 2:37 p.m.
The Federal Communications Commission delayed its vote on
$79 billion buy of
till Nov. 3.
The FCC was expected to vote on the linkup Friday, but chairman Kevin Martin delayed the proceedings after the two Democrats on the commission asked for more time to study concessions proposed by AT&T.
The Justice Department cleared the merger earlier this week, saying the deal won't harm competition.
"We firmly believe, as do three foreign countries, 18 state commissions and the Department of Justice -- every regulatory or legal entity that had an obligation to examine the benefits of this merger -- that no conditions on this merger are necessary for this combination to be a public benefit," AT&T said late Friday. "However, we are open to discussing with the Democratic FCC Commissioners reasonable conditions on the merger in order to obtain unanimous approval, so long as they do not affect our ability to deliver merger benefits to customers and shareowners, given the intensely competitive environment in which we operate."
On Friday, AT&T dropped 35 cents to $33.25 and BellSouth slipped 50 cents to $43.78.