Washington, D.C. – The Rural Telecommunications Group, Inc. (RTG) is grateful to the esteemed members of the Senate Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights for holding a much-needed public hearing on the harms to competition, innovation and consumer choice that would befall the mobile wireless industry should AT&T be allowed to acquire T-Mobile. RTG is also thankful to the representatives of Sprint and Cellular South for providing straight-forward commentary on the irreparable threats to true competition posed by a duopolistic marketplace. We are also appreciative of Public Knowledge’s valuable testimony, since they speak on behalf of only the consumers, who are becoming more appalled on a daily basis by the merger as the potential anti-competitive effects become known.
“The testimony we heard today from AT&T and T-Mobile was worthless, not because it was completely scripted, but rather because it doesn’t paint an accurate vision of the future. Under direct questioning from the Senators, AT&T all but admitted that T-Mobile is a direct competitor of AT&T and that the industry is national in scope. These are two positions they completely deny in their applications to the FCC” said Carri Bennet, RTG’s General Counsel. “The more facts that come to light through hearings like this, the better informed the public will be about the negative impact this proposed merger will have. In the end, we have confidence that the DOJ and the FCC will find that this takeover is bad for American consumers and businesses and will result in a loss of innovation and jobs. Senator Franken’s desire to hold more hearings on this topic is laudable and we support the transparency that future public hearings will bring. Once the FCC and DOJ review the facts, it will be impossible to support the merger under any circumstances.”
About RTG – Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Rural Telecommunications Group, Inc. (RTG) is a trade association representing rural wireless carriers who each serve less than 100,000 subscribers. RTG’s members have joined together to speed delivery of new, efficient and innovative telecommunications technologies to remote and underserved communities. ruraltelecomgroup.org @RTGwireless
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