Dear Media Reformer,
Watch Our Exclusive Interview with the Merger’s ‘Mastermind’: Richard P. Merryweather
The Justice Department today rubber stamped the $78 billion merger of AT&T and BellSouth — deserting its post as the public’s shield against corporate monopolies.
The merger now goes to the Federal Communications Commission for final approval. The deal would effectively resurrect the Ma Bell monopoly that ruled our nation’s communications industry for nearly a century.
The only ones standing in the path of a new AT&T monopoly are citizens like you. Tell the FCC:
The merger of AT&T and BellSouth would create a network behemoth that controls nearly half of all telephone land lines in the United States. But the new AT&T presents a far greater threat.
Under the rule of CEO Ed Whitacre, the company is leading the effort to gut Net Neutrality — the longstanding principle that prevents phone companies from controlling what you do, where you go and what you see on the Internet.
Soon all digital media — telephone, TV, radio and the Web — will enter homes via a single broadband connection. Whitacre is trying to control this “pipe” — and the billions of dollars at stake — by erecting new Internet toll booths and discriminating against Web sites that can’t afford their new fees.
If the FCC doesn’t place any conditions on the mega-merger, nothing would prevent the new AT&T from taking away the free and open Internet that has fostered unprecedented economic innovation and democratic participation.
The good news is that we have some allies at the FCC. Two of the four commissioners who will vote on the merger have indicated that they will support Net Neutrality conditions as part of any merger. But they need strong public support to prevail.
Before the FCC rules, it needs to hear from you. Please forward this e-mail to everyone you know.
P.S. For more information on the AT&T-BellSouth merger, please visit: www.freepress.net/att
P.P.S. For another take on the deal, watch our exclusive YouTube interview with Richard P. Merryweather, president and CEO of CT&T Com: