McDowell has decided to recuse himself and stick with its original decision not to participate in the vote on the ATT/BellSouth merger. Its participation was highly expected by the FCC to break a 50/50 split on the matter. McDowell is tied with an ethic agreement to stay out of matters relating to his former employer Comptel, which opposes the ATT/BellSouth union. "I had expected a memorandum making a strong and clear case for my participation”, he said, but “I was handed Swiss cheese". If the deal is still expected to be approved by the FCC, nobody can say when.