WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Statement of U.S. Representative Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Ranking Democrat, House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, regarding the approval of the AT&T-BellSouth merger by the Department of Justice without any public interest conditions:

"The approval this morning of the merger of these two Bell behemoths by the Department of Justice, without any competitive or consumer safeguards or conditions, underscores how the Bush Administration’s Antitrust Division has become the executive branch's version of Rip Van Winkle -- it appears to be deep in the throes of a multiyear slumber. The historic sound of its marketplace-watchdog bark has been replaced by a gentle snore.  Today's decision represents a shirking of its important responsibility.  Hopefully, the Federal Communications Commission will step in to assure consumers and competitors that such mega-mergers may only occur with appropriate, enforceable conditions embodying longstanding public policy principles.  The American public deserves no less."

October 11, 2006

CONTACT: Israel Klein