Franken: Merger will likely harm consumers

Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenFranken to make first public appearance since resignation Overnight Cybersecurity: Fallout from Comey memos | IG reportedly investigating memos over classified info | DNC sues Russia, Trump campaign | GOP chair blasts FDIC over data security Why Smokin' Joe leads the pack of 2020 Democratic hopefuls MORE (D-Minn.) on Monday warned the new AT&T merger with DirecTV would likely hurt consumers.

“This is going exactly in the wrong direction,” Franken said on CNN’s “New Day.” “The fewer players there are in this space, I believe it’s worse for consumers. My constituents in Minnesota will be paying more for cable.”

Franken has also opposed the Comcast merger with Time Warner Cable announced in February.

During congressional hearings about that deal, Franken dismissed the companies' arguments that the deal would create more competition.

“No, they’re just buying each other,” Franken said Monday. “This is a bad trend.” 

AT&T announced Sunday that it’s buying DirecTV for $48.5 billion. Comcast bought Time Warner Cable for $45 billion.

Franken on Monday rejected the notion that these mergers are inevitable but also suggested these decisions are ultimately not under Congress’s jurisdiction.

“As a senator, we can have hearings, and we did that on Comcast-Time Warner, but it’s ultimately up to the FCC and Department of Justice.”