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FCC Wireless Bureau head Rick Kaplan stepping down next month

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FCC Wireless Telecommunications Bureau head Rick Kaplan is stepping down in mid-June. He will be replaced by longtime agency member Ruth Milkman.

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The US Federal Communications Commission is changing the leadership of its Wireless Telecommunications Bureau in the middle of a contentious spectrum deal. Rick Kaplan, who has served at the FCC since 2009, is stepping down as head of the Bureau in mid-June. He will be replaced by Ruth Milkman, a longtime FCC employee who served as Bureau head from 2009 to 2011. Kaplan apparently has no immediate plans, and it's not clear whether this is simply a move within the agency or if he's leaving altogether.

Kaplan was responsible for coordinating and reviewing decisions about mobile carriers and spectrum purchases, among other things. He led the review of a proposed merger between AT&T and T-Mobile, which was ultimately dropped partly because of FCC resistance. Currently, his group is mediating Verizon's controversial attempt to purchase spectrum from a group of cable companies.