A Monopoly Reborn
Remember back in 1984 when AT&T’s 70-year-old ‘Ma Bell’ telephone monopoly was broken up by court order?
In his historic ruling Judge Harold H. Greene wrote, “It is antithetical to our political and economic system for this key industry to be within the control of one company.” Ma Bell was broken into the ‘Baby Bells,’ all in the name of competition and customer choice.
That was then.
Now, as the above chart shows, Kronos has eaten his own children and – Terminator-like – AT&T is back.
Not shown in the chart [from Tim Wu’s brilliant new book, The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires] is AT&T’s latest move: a proposed merger with T-Mobil. If allowed the merger will result in two companies, AT&T and Verizon, controlling nearly 80 percent of the wireless market. Bad for jobs. Bad for phone bills. Bad for competition. Bad for customer choice. And bad for net neutrality.
And remember, this is the same AT&T that is proposing to rip out it’s existing national hard-wire phone network, thus forcing customers into the wireless domain of which it would control 80%!!
You have till Tues. May 31st to file your opinion to the FCC. Click here.
Here are some useful backgrounder links:
Why the AT&T/T-Mobile Deal Is Bad for America – PDF – from FreePress.net
AT&T Wants to Give You an 80s Makeover – by Tim Karr
Five Things Wrong with AT&T’s Mega-Merger
Originally Posted on the Huffington Post – By Timothy Karr
We Don’t Care. We Don’t Have To. We’re the Phone Company. Saturday Night Live
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