For Immediate Release
Jenn Ettinger, 202-265-1490 x 35
Free Press Urges FCC to Stop the Revolving Door
Asks FCC commissioners to pledge not to lobby for AT&T or T-Mobile after merger review
WASHINGTON - In a letter sent to the Federal Communications Commission on Thursday, Free Press asked the four remaining commissioners to pledge not to seek employment with either AT&T or T-Mobile, whose multi-billion merger is now under review at the FCC.
The request follows the departure of FCC Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker, who abandoned her position to become a lobbyist for Comcast - after voting to approve that company's merger with NBC Universal just months earlier. The House Government Oversight Committee has launched an inquiry into the circumstances surrounding Baker's departure. Her last official day at the Commission is Friday, June 3.
Read the letter: http://www.freepress.net/resource/open-letter-fcc
Free Press President and CEO Craig Aaron made the following statement:
"If you want to know why the American people are disillusioned and disgusted with Washington, look no further than FCC Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker's decision to leave the FCC to become a lobbyist for Comcast after rubber-stamping the media giant's takeover of NBC. We can no longer ignore the ruinous effect on public policy caused by the revolving door between the FCC and the companies it's supposed to be watching.
"The proposed takeover of T-Mobile by AT&T-a $39-billion deal that would combine the country's second- and fourth-largest wireless carriers - could be an opportunity to restore the public's confidence in the FCC. We ask the commissioners to stand up and declare that they will not seek nor accept employment from AT&T or T-Mobile directly upon leaving their present posts. We ask for assurance that the FCC's commitment is to the public it serves and not to a big payday from potential future employers.
"Of course, Baker is not the first government official to accept a paycheck from the industry she was once charged with regulating, and, sadly, she will not be the last. But we hope that through this pledge, the public can at least be confident that deliberations are based not on any future job prospects, but on the agency's actual mandate: whether this deal is truly in the public interest."
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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