For Immediate Release
Free Press: FCC Has No Choice but to Reject AT&T Takeover of T-Mobile
WASHINGTON - On Tuesday, Free Press filed with the Federal Communications Commission a petition to deny AT&T’s proposed takeover of T-Mobile. The merger would combine the second- and fourth-largest mobile providers and would create a duopoly where AT&T and Verizon control nearly 80 percent of the market, leading to a significant decline in innovation and investment.
Free Press President and CEO Craig Aaron made the following statement:
“Make no mistake: AT&T’s takeover of T-Mobile will cost jobs, stifle innovation and kill competition in the wireless market, sticking consumers with the bill. The FCC’s mandate is to ensure this merger is in the public interest, and thus it has no choice but to block the deal.
“This new mobile behemoth would have unprecedented control over the market reminiscent of the old Ma Bell monopoly – except this new company will be even more enormous. A combined AT&T, along with Verizon, would control nearly 80 percent of the wireless market, with free reign to squash competitors and limit consumer choice. It would be like if ExxonMobile merged with BP, Shell, Chevron-Texaco and Citgo, and then forced you to sign a contract to buy only Exxon’s gas for the next two years.
“AT&T and T-Mobile vastly overstate the purported benefits of this transaction. Eliminating a significant competitor from the wireless market obviously harms competition, and to argue otherwise is pure nonsense. Moreover, the two companies do not need to merge to achieve the capacity or build-out gains they claim this merger would set in motion. Worse still, the deal would eliminate American jobs in the midst of one of the worst recessions our country has ever experienced.
“This outcome may be a good deal in the short-term for the executives and shareholders of these two companies, but it’s a raw deal for the American public. The FCC must reject this merger.”
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