Several national telecommunications companies, many of them small competitors to the big phone monopolies, as well as consumer groups are urging the Federal Communications Commission to block the proposed $67 billion merger of AT&T Inc. and BellSouth Corp.

Companies including Cbeyond Communications Inc., Grande Communications Holdings Inc., NuVox Communications Inc., Supra Telecommunications & Information Systems Inc., Talk America Holdings Inc., XO Communications Inc. and Xspedius Communications LLC as well as their trade group Comptel, say allowing the deal to proceed would irreparably harm the competitive landscape and would not serve the public interest.

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