AT&T and the U.S. Department of Justice are meeting in court today to finalize a schedule for the upcoming antitrust case that will determine whether the company’s planned merge with Time Warner would be anticompetitive.
Aija Leiponen, professor at Cornell University’s Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, studies organization and management in the telecommunication industry. She says the monopolistic effects of an AT&T merger deal would be magnified by the Federal Communication Commission’s plans to eliminate net neutrality.
“The Department of Justice is wise to block the merger.
“With the limited competition in telecom and broadband, and substantial movement in all entertainment content toward IP (internet) based delivery, allowing major network operators to vertically integrate into content is likely harmful for consumers. If network providers like AT&T merge with major content distributors, they might be inclined to raise prices on other content providers and potentially drive them out of business.
“Their opportunity to dominate both industries would be magnified by the potential repeal of net neutrality in coming weeks.”