If AT&T Merger Goes Through, It Is Because Congress Was Bought…

  • September 16, 2011 8:53 am

If the U.S. government approves the AT&T/T-Mobile merger in any form, it is proof government is broken. Public criticism has been almost unanimously high. Though unfortunately public opinion doesn’t matter as long as politicians’ pockets are being lined by…you guessed it… AT&T.

With that said, 15 Congress members sent a letter to President Obama urging him to allow the merger in question as the numerous benefits will greatly outweigh the bad.

A letter penned by Rep. Heath Shuler (D-NC) ultimately urged Obama to settle the ongoing Department of Justice/AT&T lawsuit so everyone can go on with life happy and rich. Unfortunately it will be consumers getting the short end of the stick. Continue on…

Shuler’s letter had numerous false, baseless claims highlighted in three main points.

For this first point, Shuler argues that the merger will “help the expansion of wireless networks”. While this may be true on the surface, is having more wireless service in a particular area worth limiting customers to a single, major GSM carrier?

Second, Shuler uses the currently popular jobs argument. Specifically, he claims the ~5,000 new, American (our emphasis) will be created. AT&T hasn’t been shy about the fact that many tens of thousands of jobs would in fact be lost. However, they have been hitting home the fact the new jobs created from the merger would be entirely U.S. based. Which in the current modern depression we’re in, any positive job growth is good.

Finally, Shuler pulls the country’s GDP into the fray, saying that in the long run it will only go up. Well, when you’ve got a monopoly on a large portion of the country, how can it not go up? A&T will be free to raise prices as they see fit. Consumers won’t have any choice.

Valid (yet admittinly weak) points. But there is one glaring hole to the entire merger that no one has really been hitting on. A reality that is found in Sprint’s lawsuit to block the merger:

Make no mistake, AT&T’s proposed takeover of T-Mobile will eliminate tens of thousand of jobs across the country. The flawed economic study embraced by AT&T and its union ignores what Wall Street investors and the Federal Government have been already been promised: that the overall investment for the combined companies will be substantially reduced if the proposed transaction closes.

The U.S. Constitution was created with one thing in mind — U.S. Citizens. What AT&T and T-Mobile are saying is that the merger, while it will negatively affect some markets (and conveniently leaving out the GSM monopoly it will create) is better in the long run. And what Sprint correctly implies above is that AT&T is shadowing their real argument — that the merger will be less costly for both networks (AT&T and T-Mobile) moving forward.

Um…red light. The U.S. Constitution does not have any wording for protecting companies in such a way. Companies’ bottom lines have never been and never should be put above that of citizens’. But they now are.

As we said above, if the merger of AT&T and T-Mobile is allowed to progress in any form, government as we know it is completely broken (assuming you didn’t already think that).


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