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David Salway

76 House Democrats Support AT&T Merger; Consumer Groups Skeptical

By June 26, 2011

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AT&T T-mobile MergerSeventy six House Democrats signed a letter which stopped short of full support for an AT&T/T-Mobile merger, but emphasized the benefits of the AT&T merger.  The letter mentioned President Obama's broadband goals, and the benefits  touted by AT&T as a result of the proposed merger.  These benefits include driving investment and innovation, creating jobs, and reaching rural constituents in remote areas across the United States.  Most of the House members represent constituents in states with lower broadband availability.

What does the NTIA's National Broadband Map say about broadband availability in the US?

Consumer groups and other special interest groups are taking the opposite position.  Free Press, a nonprofit organization dedicated to reforming the media, wrote a letter to the FCC arguing against the merger:

" . . . the proposed AT&T-T-Mobile merger will provide very little benefit to rural Americans
and will likely cause significant harm and disruption to those same citizens. AT&T's claims to the
contrary sound in opportunism and guile. We urge you to scrutinize these facts closely in considering
whether this merger will truly serve the interests of the American people."

Read the full letter opposing the merger here.

Public Service Commissioners in New York and California are scrutinizing the merger's impact on consumer pricing and competition, while other states are lining up behind AT&T.


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