Senator and former presidential nominee hopeful Bernie Sanders hopes to see the massive AT&T-Time Warner merger killed. AT&T reached a deal to buy Time Warner for $85.4 million, and approval of the sale now rests with the Department of Justice.
Sanders drafted an open letter to Acting Assistant Attorney General Renata Hesse.
Sanders asserts that its the responsibility of the Department of Justice to kill this deal because it “represents a gross concentration of power that runs counter to the public good.” Sanders says that “when one giant company owns both the content and the means of distribution, there is a clear disincentive to provide additional choices to consumers.”
Sanders goes on to explain that mergers like this result in raised market prices for consumers. He points out that “this deal would almost certainly lead to price hikes and reduced choice.”
If AT&T successfully buys Time Warner, the consequences will be enormous.
Regardless of your politics, you have to agree that this merger will have public-facing consequences. It might not be as bad as Senator Sanders indicates (though it certainly could be even worse), but consumers will no doubt feel an effect from this.
AT&T will, basically, own the news with this acquisition. They’ll have CNN under their umbrella. There’s a certain responsibility that comes with that ownership that some would argue AT&T can’t meet as a company.
Don’t forget, AT&T was broken up in the 80s due to monopolizing the communications market. That break up lead to the creation of dozens of different companies. Those companies now sit below, basically, AT&T and Verizon. This Time Warner merger certainly deserves tough scrutiny before any approval happens.