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FCC's legal chief during AT&T-T-Mobile deliberations leaving

The legal counsel who was in charge when the Federal Communications Commission blocked the merger of AT&T and T-Mobile is leaving, the FCC said Wednesday.

No reason was given for the departure of Amy Levine, who was promoted to legal adviser to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski on Feb. 3, 2011. In a statement (.pdf), the FCC said only that Levine was leaving Washington. (An earlier version of this story incorrectly said Levine was promoted in February 2012.)

Levine couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

As a legal counsel for wireless and homeland security issues, Levine was one of the key players in the FCC's rejection of AT&T's plans to acquire T-Mobile acquisition in December on the grounds that it would stifle competition. 

Neville Ray, T-Mobile's chief technology officer, said Tuesday that the deal's failure may have been a blessing in disguise. Because it acquired some of AT&T's spectrum during the negotiations, T-Mobile will be able to begin deploying high-speed LTE service next year, in place of its current HSPA+ standard.

"Most importantly, we're getting new AWS spectrum as a result of the termination of the AT&T deal (pending regulatory approval), which we will use for LTE," Ray wrote on T-Mobile's issues blog.

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