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For AT&T Merger, Facts Trump Politics

Today the Justice Department filed suit to block AT&T's proposed takeover of T-Mobile.

In announcing the suit, Sharis Pozen, the DoJ's top antitrust enforcer, said, "Any way you look at it, this deal is anti-competitive." We at Free Press couldn't agree more. And for once, policymakers put the law above politics and stood up to a powerful company.

This victory simply wouldn't have happened without intense public pressure generated by calls and letters from hundreds of thousands of activists. And thanks to the support of our members, we filed thousands of pages of research to tear down the mountain of AT&T propaganda and deflate the air of inevitability surrounding the merger in Washington.

The DoJ lawsuit is built on the arguments that Free Press, our allies and the public have been making since this disastrous deal was first announced: If you remove a competitor from an already concentrated market, the results are bad for industry, bad for consumers and bad for society. And they're bad for jobs and the economy, too.


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In today's Washington, corporations too often dictate policy. But what's good for AT&T isn't good for the rest of us. With this decision, we see it's possible to challenge the most powerful corporations and make policy that actually serves the public interest.

AT&T has already invested millions in this deal, and it's going to play every card in the deck to try to win this suit and get this merger through. We hope instead that AT&T will drop this disastrous deal and invest in expanding its network and improving its woeful customer service.

We've turned Washington in the right direction on this merger, and now we've got to keep pushing until we have a media and communications system that serves our needs rather than the aims of a few giant corporations.

But for today, let's celebrate!

Craig Aaron

Craig Aaron is president and co-CEO of Free Press Action. He is the editor of two books, Appeal to Reason: 25 Years of In These Times and Changing Media: Public Interest Policies for the Digital Age. Follow him on Twitter: @NotAaronCraig

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