North Carolina is not likely to join the growing ranks of critics who decry AT&T's proposed $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile.
Regulators in California and Louisiana are reviewing the planned merger of the nation's second-largest and fourth-largest wireless service providers for its potential to diminish competition and customer choice.
And just today, rival Sprint has filed its opposition with the Federal Communications Commission, saying it would give AT&T and Verizon Wireless more than 80 percent of the market.
In North Carolina, Gov. Bev Perdue supports the proposed merger. In a May 31 letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, Perdue said the merger "represents another development in the marketplace which can benefit the people of my state."
N.C. state law has decreed that wireless providers are not "public utilities," and therefore not subject to regulatory oversight from the N.C. Utilities Commission.
"No sense in us looking into this," said John Garrison, director of the phone division of the Public Staff. "We couldn't do anything to oppose it or to promote it."
The Public Staff is the state agency that represents consumers in utility rate cases handled by the utilities commission. The agency regulates electric utilities, natural gas utilities, moving companies and ferries.
The utilities commission and Public Staff have no more say over wireless business practices than they do over such communications venues as Yahoo, Skype or Twitter.
While the AT&T and T-Mobile merger is up to the U.S. Justice Department and FCC, state regulatory agencies that have oversight can become involved in the case as intervenors, submitting legal briefs and expert witnesses to represent their constituencies before federal regulators.
With North Carolina lacking jurisdiction in the matter, the Public Staff and utilities commission don't plan to file comments with the FCC or Justice Department.