Considering the volumes of past opposition it has raised to industry mergers, Free Press has launched a relatively low-key attack on AT&T's (NYSE: T) proposed $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile from Deutsche Telekom (XETRA: DTE.DE). The organization's opening salvo of opposition (more will undoubtedly follow) found only five reasons "all Americans ... should be concerned by the return of the old Ma Bell."
While citing the usual caveats--the merger would reduce competition and raise prices--Free Press' Tim Karr also listed some arguable--at least by merger proponents--points, including an assertion that the deal "will kill tens of thousands of U.S. jobs." This is arguable based on CWA union support of the deal when it was announced.
Another point is argued by AT&T itself. "The merger would stifle innovation both in devices and on the network," Karr asserted because AT&T historically has blocked "the use of certain applications like Google Voice and Slingbox."
Finally, he brought up the semi-net neutrality argument that the merger is "a threat to free speech and openness on the wireless Web" because it will give a duopoly of Verizon Wireless (NYSE: VZ) and AT&T "an even stronger position to play gatekeeper."
- Free Press' Save the Internet has this post
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