WASHINGTON, D.C. (Press Release) — In a hearing to examine AT&T’s proposed acquisition of DirecTV, U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) raised concerns about the ongoing trend toward media consolidation in the telecom industry and said the deal needed careful scrutiny to determine if it’s in the best interest of consumers.
At the hearing, which was held in the Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights, Sen. Franken asked the CEO of AT&T pointed questions about what this deal would mean for competition, innovation, and the general public. He pressed the company to explain and clarify its commitments to fair consumer pricing and rural broadband, two issues he’s fought hard for since joining the Senate. He also pressed AT&T to explain why it interferes with local governments that want to build their own broadband networks.
Keeping Up With Jewish Public Officials: Al Franken
“Consumers are more dependent on this industry than ever before,” said Sen. Franken in his prepared opening statement. “We need more investment in telecommunicationsâ€”investment in infrastructure, in customer service, and in new technologies. Instead, the industry proposes more consolidation.
“Comcast wants to buy Time Warner Cable, and Sprint wants to buy T-Mobileâ€”and AT&T says they need to get bigger, too. To me, that is not a good reason to approve this deal. And we need to examine this merger on its own terms. AT&T and DirecTV have explained why this is a good deal for them. As good corporate citizens, they must also explain why this is a good deal for consumers.”
Preceding provided by Senator Al Franken of Minnesota