An association representing companies like Google, Facebook, and Microsoft is speaking out against the potential merger between AT&T and T-Mobile.
Echoing much of the criticism previously voiced by companies and analysts, the Computer & Communications Industry Association says the most significant casualties of a merger between AT&T and T-Mobile would be industry innovation and consumer choice.
Established in 1972, CICA was born out of distaste for IBM's control over the software and hardware markets. Later it fought for the breakup of AT&T, which has largely reconstituted itself via mergers over the last dozen years. Consumers, industry and innovation will all lose if AT&T is allowed to amass even more power and control over our communications and Internet infrastructure, the association said in a statement.
Calling the merger a lose-lose situation the CCIA says that the loss of maverick wireless carriers like T-Mobile would ultimately harm the market, decreasing competition and increasing prices. It would also adversely affect efforts at expanding broadband access to 98 percent of Americans.
This may be the most aggressive and anti-consumer merger proposal in history, Said CICA President Ed Black. He argues that, in the end, AT&T's merger would do more than stifle competition and innovation: It would also shed light on the company's extensive army of lobbyists.
In addition to large technology companies like Microsoft and AMD, CICA also counts T-Mobile as one of its members. While the company has yet to respond to CCIA's statement, CCIA's Ed Black says it unlikely that T-Mobile is surprised by the decision.
We have a long history of being on the pro-competitive, anti-trust side. It all pretty much goes back to same core principles, he said. Member companies are under no obligation to agree with the CCIA's position, though it is likely that the great majority of them do. It's not that inconsistent. We have a diverse membership. We seek unanimity, but we don't expect it.