A dozen prominent media advocacy groups wrote to Attorney General Jeff Sessions asking him to protect Americans from the destructive impacts of the massive AT&T/Time-Warner merger.
The groups said: “Since its acquisition of DirecTV, AT&T is now the largest pay-TV operator in the United States. With its nationwide satellite service, nationwide wireless broadband footprint, and considerable wireline territory, AT&T has the reach to serve as the internet access provider and video distributor for nearly every person in the United States. Buying Time Warner would incentivize and enable AT&T to cement its dominance and benefit itself, at the expense of pro-consumer competition in the video distribution market, by raising the cost of Time Warner programming to its rivals. It would also incentivize and enable AT&T to put onerous restrictions on programming availability, such as device or windowing restrictions, which are another way of raising the costs of its rivals”.
“Because this merger poses such grave dangers to consumers and creators in mature and emerging markets, we urge the Department to investigate the merger thoroughly, and take whatever action is warranted, based on the evidence uncovered in your investigation, to prevent harm to competition and consumers. And if you conclude, as appears to us from the available information, that conditions and piecemeal divestitures will not be sufficient, then we hope you will challenge the merger in its entirety.”
Read the full letter here.
Several Democratic Senators sent a similar letter to AG Sessions on June 21.