McDowell said he feared his recusal had been used as a pawn to forgo "meaningful and sincere" negotiations and he urged his colleagues to put aside their differences and offer the necessary concessions to complete the review. "Now that I am removing that chess piece from the board, I hope that the twin pillars of sound negotiations are restored: good faith and sacrifice," he said.
Forbes.com is saying the merger may fail:
AT&T Inc.'s proposed buyout of BellSouth was thrown into doubt Monday when Robert McDowell, a member of the Federal Communications Commission and a former telecommunications industry lobbyist, said he is excluding himself from participation in the agency's deliberations on the deal.
Here is the full text of McDowell's statement. Here's what Martin said :) And finally Copps sums it up: "I respect Rob's decision. Finally we have clarity on who will be participating in this proceeding. That should give some juice to our ongoing discussions."