AT&T T-Mobile Merger: Perry & Democrats Support it, Received Money

(COLUMN)

  on September 16 2011 6:51 PM
Rick Perry
Texas Gov. and 2012 GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry. REUTERS/Scott Audette

Here is one more thing Rick Perry and some Democrats have in common: staunchly supporting AT&T's proposed merger with T-Mobile.

Yet another thing they have in common?  Receiving generous contributions from AT&T in recent years.

On Thursday, North Carolina Congressman Heath Shuler joined 15 other House Democrats to write a pro-AT&T T-Mobile merger letter to President Obama. The letter rehashed AT&T's PR spin about how the deal would create jobs and bring more high-speed wireless coverage to America.

Save the Internet pointed out that these Democratic politicians have collectively received $570,000 in campaign contributions from AT&T.

Either these members of Congress actually believe in the fantasies AT&T cooks up, or they are so worried that AT&T will turn off its spigot of campaign contributions that they'll sign anything the telecom puts in front of them, wrote the coalition.

GOP 2012 hopeful Rick Perry, meanwhile, wrote a pro-AT&T T-Mobile merger letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in his official capacity as the Texas Governor in May. Perry touted Texas' record of job creation and also parroted AT&T's PR spin of creating more jobs in the letter.

The National Journal, however, highlighted that Perry received over $500,000 from AT&T's political action committee over the last decade.

This is just one more example of Rick Perry's pay-to-play network that represents the same old type of lobbyist-first politics, Ty Matsdorf, spokesman for American Bridge 21st Century, a Democratic opposition research organization, told National Journal. 

Any way you slice it, the proposed merger between AT&T and T-Mobile is a bad deal for America.

The merger will not bring high-speed coverage to America faster; competition will.

The merger will not guarantee more jobs; common sense and historic examples tell us that mergers usually kill jobs. 

Does AT&T promise more jobs in the long-term?  So did Vice President Joe Biden with Solyndra.   

The merger, moreover, will stifle innovation and raise prices for American consumers in the long-term, even if AT&T temporarily promises to keep T-Mobile's cheap subscription rates. 

Shrinking an already concentrated industry from four major players to three - while catapulting one of them to hold a meaningful size advantage over the others - is bad for America and bad for capitalism. 

Any basic economics class will tell you that.

It's called being anti-competitive; it's why the Department of Justice broke up Ma Bell in the first place in the 1980s.

The facts don't support this merger, and AT&T knows it. So it's turning to old tricks like getting its paid-for cronies to sign a nonsensical letter of support. Repeating lies ad nauseam is standard stuff for AT&T, but we should expect more from our elected officials, wrote Save the Internet.

 

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