Well, actually it’s not my idea, but the person who gave it to me probably doesn’t want me to disclose his identity. Anyway, here’s the brilliant idea. The AT&T/BellSouth merger will require approval of the FTC. No doubt the FTC will approve the deal, but when these sorts of controversial mergers occur it’s often a time to get something out of the deal.
So how about if us everyday citizens extract a little quid pro quo for losing some major competition in the telecom world? How about if we all bombard the FTC with objections and say that, at a minimum, approval of the merger should be conditioned on AT&T agreeing not to oppose efforts to establish municipal wireless.
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Glenn Fleishman writes, citing USA Today, that . Then it would be two private entities competing.
The concern with a public entity, the city, competing with a private, BellSouth, is specious in any case. That is only relevant if the public entity exercises regulatory authority over the private entity.
As far as competition in general goes, think about how many choices you have for Internet access.
Changing arena, the competitors have to change also…also globalization is a key motive for these mergers.
Except I don’t see how we’re losing any competition… AT&T-SBC was already 60/40 with BellSouth on Cingular Wireless. Their markets for local service don’t overlap. But I will grant you that it looks a lot like clumps of Mercury recombining as the baby bells are suddenly sucked back into a new version of AT&T and Ma Bell. But honestly, local phone service is not at all the same anymore. The communications landscape has changed, so I’m not going to sit back and freak like this is some sort of huge anti-trust thing. It’s more like an issue of the bells trying to survive in a radically different marketplace.