AT&T-sponsored Virginia Asian Chamber of Commerce urged the FCC to quickly approve the deal, saying that as a group “striving to create bridges between cultures, we look forward to the foundation that this merger will create and the opportunities that it will give the public.”The Urban League of Portland sent a similar letter to the FCC, saying the merger could help minorities gain faster access to broadband through a more robust, combined company. AT&T donated $125,000 to $249,999 last year to the National Urban League’s annual convention, the group said on its Web site.
As we suspected, after reviewing dozens of submissions favoring the merger, virtually every last supporter either had direct financial ties to AT&T, had AT&T personnel in leadership positions, or were run by Washington, DC lobbying firms that have a past history of doing work on behalf of AT&T. Ordinary consumers, and there were thousands, submitted comments opposing the merger — citing reduced competition, higher prices, fewer choices, and offering few benefits or improved service. At least some live in the reality-based community, not AT&T’s field of overpriced dreams and broken promises.
While this chapter believes the interests of cell phone users will be best served by an AT&T – T-Mobile merger, we’re wondering what actual charitable endeavors go unserved while its leadership wastes time and resources filing comments with the FCC on a billion dollar telecom deal.