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AT&T, T-Mobile: "This Merger is Unfixable"

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NOW THIS IS HAPPENING
DailyFeed
There's not much of a question as to who, exactly, the proposed takeover of T-Mobile by AT&T will benefit.

And it's not you. Or anyone else with a cell phone.

As the list of losers -- including both Sprint and Google, and AT&T itself, if the deal is scotched -- continues to grow, and Ed Black, president and CEO of the Computer and Communications Industry Association, is calling it "about the most brazen merger proposal in history."

This morning, Gigi Sohn, President and Co-founder of Public Knowledge -- a "Washington D.C.- based public interest group working to defend consumer rights in the emerging digital culture" -- came out with some of the most scathing criticism yet regarding the deal at a Capitol Hill press conference hosted by Rep. John Conyers, Jr., the senior Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee.

"It would be hard to imagine a takeover that could do more harm to consumers than AT&T buying out its competitor, T-Mobile," she said. "If this deal is allowed, about 80 percent of the market share and 90 percent of the revenue will belong to two companies -- AT&T and Verizon."

It has been duly noted that a duopoly such as the one that would be created by an AT&T takeover will stifle innovation, raise prices, and, as Allen Grunes, chairman of the Antitrust Committee of the Bar Association of the District of Columbia says, the deal is "presumptively anticompetitive."

To Sohn, an extremely important precedent will be set based on this deal.

"This transaction is a pivotal moment in U.S. antitrust law," she said today. "If that law means anything, this classic merger of one company buying out a smaller competitor in the same business must be denied. There are no conditions or divestitures that can make this deal acceptable. This merger is unfixable."

For more on monopolies, here's Stephen Colbert:

POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.

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