The Secret $8 Billion Wireless Scam: How AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon Game the System
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Approval of the T-Mobile acquisition will likely set the scene for the remaining piece of the puzzle, Sprint Nextel. Will it be absorbed by Verizon to complete the duopoly? Stay tuned.
At the Senate hearing, Sen. Al Franken noted, “It took the Department of Justice more than 35 years of litigation before they eventually broke up Ma Bell, so it’s important to keep in mind the stakes of a merger of this size and scope.” He added, “I hope that this will be the first of several hearings on the proposed merger. We all know the merger is going to raise prices for American families and may cost thousands of jobs.”
Before the AT&T/T-Mobile is approved, the Senate needs to expose the scandal about the misuse of “small business” status and the awarding of wireless spectrum to the telecom behemoths. Equally critical, senators should insist that the FCC use accurate and current data in its deliberations.
In all likelihood the AT&T/T-Mobile merger will go forward – the federal government works for the trusts. Sen. Leahy and his Vermont constituency, along with the rest of the country, will be left holding the bag, witnesses to greater industry consolidation, inferior services and higher prices. And AT&T executives will laugh all the way to the bank.
Bruce Kushnick is a telecommunications industry analyst who serves as the broadband and telecommunications expert for Harvard Nieman’s Foundation for Journalism’s Watchdog, and a founding member of Teletruth, a customer advocacy group. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. David Rosen is a regular contributor to CounterPunch, Filmmaker Magazine and the Brooklyn Rail; he can be reached at email@example.com.