Breadth of proposed deal demands review by Department of Justice and Federal Communications Commission to determine impact on consumers and marketplace
Washington (October 28, 2016) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, today called for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to carefully review the proposed AT&T-Time Warner Inc. acquisition and assess whether this proposal benefits consumers and promotes the public interest. If the deal proceeds, AT&T may acquire a license from a television station and dozens of satellite licenses from Time Warner Inc., which Timer Warner Inc. reportedly uses for its CNN operations and distributing content like HBO. An FCC review would allow the Commission to review the proposed deal and either apply pro-consumer, pro-competition conditions if the acquisition is not in the public interest or halt it altogether.
“The proposed AT&T-Time Warner Inc. deal raises significant antitrust issues, which the Department of Justice must carefully examine. Additionally, the FCC is our telecommunications cop on the beat, and we need it to ensure that marketplace actions don’t harm consumers, stifle innovation, or reduce competition,” said Senator Markey. “Given the expansive breadth of the proposed AT&T–Time Warner deal and its potentially dramatic impact on the media marketplace, the FCC and DOJ should have the opportunity to carefully review the proposed acquisition and assess whether this proposal benefits consumers and promotes the public interest.”
“A review by the FCC would help prevent pay-TV gatekeepers from favoring their own content providers, and blocking minority, diverse, and independent programmers from reaching America's living rooms. A review by the FCC would help ensure that Americans can continue to enjoy watching all the content that should be available to them, and that their right to privacy is maintained even when technologies change.”