Broadband

Public Knowledge Challenges AT&T/DirecTV

Says Simplest Answer is to Just Say No 9/17/2014 5:00 PM Eastern

Public Knowledge, joined by the Institute for Local Self Reliance, has filed a petition to block the AT&T/DirecTV merger.

 

They argue the deal would harm video competition, incentivize AT&T to shift customers from wireline to wireless service, and has "unverifiable" public interest benefits.

 

While they filed a petition to deny, they also had a fall-back position, saying if the deal is approved, it needs conditions to alleviate any public interest harms. But it made clear the best course was "no" rather than a conditional "yes."

 

"The simplest and best course of action for the FCC to avoid the harms this merger would cause would be to deny it," he said. "But if the Commission does elect to approve this merger with conditions, it must structure them with an understanding that AT&T can expend more energy and legal resources to evade the intent of a merger condition than the FCC can spend in trying to enforce them. Conditions must therefore be structured in a way that eliminates ambiguities and allows the public to easily verify compliance."

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