Free Press Action Fund to Congress: AT&T Is Lying to You

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Jenn Ettinger, 202-265-1490 x 35

Free Press Action Fund to Congress: AT&T Is Lying to You

Calls on Congress to examine facts, clarify positions on T-Mobile takeover

WASHINGTON - On Wednesday, Free Press sent a letter to members of Congress asking them to review new information about the real motives behind AT&T's takeover of T-Mobile and reconsider their earlier expression of support for the merger.

Free Press’ letter follows the unintentional public posting of documents AT&T filed with the Federal Communications Commission and subsequent press reports revealing that the company could meet its commitment to deploy in rural areas for just $3.8 billion — one-tenth of the $39 billion purchase price for T-Mobile. AT&T had publicly stated that it could achieve the goal of providing wireless 4G service to 97 percent of the population only if it were allowed to merge with T-Mobile.

The letter is directed to 76 signers of a June 24 letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder that claimed the deal would bring broadband to rural communities that would otherwise not have access.

Free Press Action Fund Political Adviser Joel Kelsey made the following statement:

"AT&T has asked Congress to support its takeover of T-Mobile in exchange for the promised benefit of rural deployment, a benefit we now know the company could provide without this anti-competitive, job-killing merger. Recent press reports reveal that in January AT&T decided that, rather than spend $3.8 billion to build out its network, it would spend 10 times that amount to take over T-Mobile and use the promise of rural deployment as a carrot to win approval. In AT&T’s eyes, eliminating a competitor from the market is a better business plan than investing in its network.

“Members of Congress do not like to be misled, and that’s exactly what AT&T has done here. Now that the truth is out and opposition to this disastrous deal has become so overwhelming, we expect that members will do the right thing and oppose this merger.”

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Free Press is a national, nonpartisan organization working to reform the media. Through education, organizing and advocacy, we promote diverse and independent media ownership, strong public media, and universal access to communications. Learn more at www.freepress.net

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