DOJ Continues To Point Out A Mega-Merged AT&T Will Jack Up Prices On Everybody [telecom]

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from the do-not-pass-go,-do-not-collect-$200 dept

AT&T recently defeated the DOJ's challenge to their $86 billion merger
with Time Warner thanks to a comically narrow reading of the markets
by U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon. At no point in his 172-page
ruling (which approved the deal without a single condition) did Leon
show the faintest understanding that AT&T intends to use vertical
integration synergistically with the death of net neutrality to
dominate smaller competitors.

In fact, net neutrality was never even mentioned by the DOJ at the
multi-week trial. Likely in part because the DOJ didn't want to
highlight how the Trump FCC was screwing everybody over with one hand,
while the Trump DOJ was allegedly suing AT&T to "protect consumers"
with the other (some argue that Trump's disdain for CNN and adoration
of Rupert Murdoch were the more likely motivators). But if you ignore
the fact that AT&T plans to use its monopoly over many broadband
markets (from residential to cellular tower backhaul) combined with
the death of net neutrality to make life difficult for consumers and
competitors alike, you're not paying any attention to history or to
AT&T's repeated nods in that general direction.

Bill Horne
(Remove QRM from my email address to write to me directly)

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