The day before the House Judiciary subcommittee hearing on the proposed merger between AT&T and T-Mobile, the Center for Media Justice and an unprecedented fifty community-based social justice organizations from across the country, sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission and Department of Justice calling for a thorough review of AT&T’s proposed acquisition of T-Mobile. 

The groups say such a review will reveal a real threat to rural, poor and communities of color who already struggle to obtain and maintain essential communications services.
The Center for Media Justice (CMJ) is leading this effort alongside the Media Action Grassroots Network (MAG-Net), a national coalition of community organizations working in local communities across the country to ensure low-income and working Americans are represented in the heated debate over the proposed takeover. 

“Our communities cannot afford higher prices and less choices. We need the FCC and DOJ to block this takeover if it's found to be in violation of antitrust law and does not meet public interest obligations,” said Betty Yu, National Organizer for MAG-Net.

"If AT&T takes over T-Mobile, it will be a disaster for all mobile phone users. It will stifle information, choice and innovation- and lead to higher prices and fewer jobs nationwide, added CMJ's Policy Director, amalia deloney. "It's a real jobs and democracy killer.”

The groups also contend the takeover will disproportionately harm consumers of color, who rely on their cell phones to access the Internet more than whites. While 10 percent of whites access the Internet only from their phones, 18 percent of blacks and 16 percent of English-speaking Latinos depend on affordable wireless coverage to get online.

“While AT&T’s market grab must first pass the antitrust law test, it should also stand the test of our values that tell us to put people and democracy before profits, and to ensure that this country doesn’t redline opportunity for communities who need it most,“ said Malkia Cyril, Director of the Center for Media Justice. "This merger is not the best way to provide wireless access to the nation- there are better options."

The letter can be downloaded below:


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