By Sara Jerome - 03/20/11 07:42 PM EDT
There is no ambiguity about how consumer groups will view the proposed merger of T-Mobile USA and AT&T: "Unthinkable," said Public Knowledge President Gigi Sohn.
"We think that U.S. regulators should take a page out of Reed Hundt's playbook and declare this merger 'unthinkable' (as he did when it was rumored that AT&T would merge w. SBC in 1987)," Sohn said.
"The proposed merger shows how desperately the U.S. needs both strong network neutrality rules and competition policy that requires dominant broadband providers to make their networks available to competitors," she said.
Further statements from consumer groups are on the way, and the general tilt of those comments can be expected to reverberate in remarks from congressional Democrats.
AT&T will likely have to look to House Republicans to hold the torch for this merger, but even ubiquitous backing from the GOP is hardly certain as the party has repeatedly turned to antitrust as a way to ensure healthy competition.