New Media Rights files Petition to Deny the AT&T - T-mobile Merger at the FCC

June 3, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Art Neill, Executive Director, New Media Rights, (619) 591-8870

New Media Rights writes petition to deny the AT&T T-mobile merger to protect consumers' rights

New Media Rights, its parent organization Utility Consumers' Action Network, and our sister organization Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, have filed a petition to deny with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). We oppose the AT&T T-mobile merger on the grounds that the merger will most likely have a negative effect on innovation, access to the internet, customer service quality, prices, service availability, and consumer privacy.

Our petition makes clear the FCC must investigate AT&T's assumptions and claims carefully, and that on balance, the merger is not in the public interest of America's wireless consumers. We discuss the impact on consumers, which would most likely be reduced service offerings, price competition, and customer service quality.

In the petition we assert that: 

  • AT&T uses its gatekeeping role to stifle innovations in voice telephony and control the way consumers access the internet
  • AT&T enables its partners to control the way consumers access the internet
  • AT&T‘s broader history of censoring speech and use of its network
  • AT&T’s past spectrum bids illustrate an unwillingness to embrace innovation and openness
  • The effects of increasing AT&T’s power as a gatekeeper by granting this merger would negatively effect consumers
  • T-mobile has had a postive role in encouraging competition by openness to innovation, while AT&T has not
  • The merger would negatively effect on consumers who rely solely on wireless broadband, by limiting the amount of carriers they can choose from.

Read the full filing by clicking here.

You can also read other public interest filings by our friends at Free Press and Public Knowledge.

New Media Rights is a non-profit project of the Utilities Consumer Action Network. We offer free legal assistance to creators and consumers on copyright and online publishing. We also offer a free public media studio, educational resources on technology and the law regarding people's digital rights.

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