Dear Commissioner Genachowski et al.,
I’m writing to express my strong opposition to AT&T’s proposed takeover of T-Mobile. This merger would be bad for America, and would be especially harmful for Black and other historically marginalized communities. The deal would likely destroy jobs, raise the price of cellular service, and threaten net neutrality for wireless high-speed Internet.
Removing the fourth-largest, and least expensive, carrier from the mobile phone market would eliminate critical competitive pressure that keeps the cost of access to mobile telephone and broadband service down. Decreased competition will also mean less incentive for cellular providers to invest in improving their services and developing new technologies. The decreased investment in network infrastructure resulting from this merger would likely hinder progress towards the goal of expanding access to high-speed Internet and closing the digital divide.
Finally, I’m deeply concerned about the impact this merger would have on net neutrality. AT&T’s takeover of T-Mobile would mean that the top two remaining carriers, AT&T and Verizon, would collectively control nearly 80% of the wireless market. AT&T and Verizon are two of net neutrality’s biggest and most powerful opponents. Given the FCC’s failure to adequately protect mobile broadband in its net neutrality rulemaking last December, allowing these companies to control so much of the market puts the open wireless Internet in serious danger, opening consumers to restrictions on the ideas, products and services they can access. This would have a disproportionate impact on Black and Latino Americans, who use mobile phones to connect to the Internet more than other groups.
I urge you to deny AT&T’s request to purchase T-Mobile.