AT&T, Time Warner Defend Merger to Lawmakers

AT&T, Time Warner Defend Merger to Lawmakers

Date: 10 Dec 2016 | posted in: Media Coverage, MuniNetworks | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

E-Commerce Times – December 10, 2016

by David Jones

AT&T and Time Warner executives this week appeared before a subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee to respond to lawmakers’ concerns about their US$84 billion merger. Their testimony came at a time of high public skepticism of institutional power. Rival content and mobile providers applied further pressure with questions about the impact the deal would have on competition and pricing.

AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner would serve to disrupt existing models of traditional cable provider dominance by letting consumers watch television whenever and wherever they wanted to, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson told the Senate Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights. …

There is nothing about the merger that is in the public interest, argued Christopher Mitchell, director of community broadband networks at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, although he noted that he hasn’t studied the issue closely since Wednesday’s hearing.

“When I speak to small cable companies and ISPs, they are deeply opposed to more consolidation,” he told the E-Commerce Times. “They fear their ability to compete effectively in a world of such giants with so much market power.”

Among the key concerns are the fact that customers who watch Time Warner content on the AT&T network will not be faced with the same bandwidth caps that other networks will charge, thus giving consumers another incentive to switch over to AT&T.

Read the full story here.

Nick Stumo-Langer
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Nick Stumo-Langer

Nick Stumo-Langer is Communications Manager at ILSR working for all five initiatives. He runs ILSR's Facebook and Twitter profiles and builds relationships with reporters. He is an alumnus of St. Olaf College and animated by the concerns of monopoly power across our economy.