For Immediate Release
Timothy Karr, 201-533-8838
Free Press Action Fund Urges Congress to Reject the AT&T-DirecTV Merger
WASHINGTON - In testimony before the Senate on Tuesday, Free Press Action Fund Policy Director Matt Wood will speak out against AT&T’s bid for DirecTV, calling out the phone giant’s failure to deliver on promises to provide affordable broadband to more customers and regions.
AT&T plans to spend almost $70 billion on DirecTV, factoring in cash, stock and debt. The deal would diminish consumer choice in a pay-TV market that’s already highly concentrated. If AT&T really cares about investing in broadband, it could wire half the country with fiber instead of wasting all that capital on this deal.
AT&T is “recycling the claims it has made in attempts to gain approval for several mergers before this one,” Wood will testify before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights. “AT&T never pauses to explain adequately whether it fulfilled those earlier promises, or if it did, how its new assurances do anything to enlarge its prior commitments.”
Wood will argue that Congress needs to speak out against this merger and urge the Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission to reject this deal on behalf of consumers and the public interest. “There is nothing to this transaction,” Wood notes, “but more concentration, less competition and the same old string of promises used to sell such bad deals to the public.”
Wood’s full written testimony is available at http://bit.ly/Ts8oJj.
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