Washington (October 22, 2016) - Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, released the following statement today after media reports indicated AT&T has agreed to purchase Time Warner.
“In the telecommunications market, we need more competition, not more consolidation. We need a telecommunications market where pay-TV gatekeepers don’t favor their own content providers, but allow minority, diverse, and independent programmers to reach America's living rooms. We need a telecommunications market were competing services can provide all the content Americans enjoy watching, and where our right to privacy is maintained even when technologies change. Less competition has historically resulted in fewer choices and higher prices for consumers, and this deal should be assessed with consumers, competition and choice in mind.
“The proposed AT&T-Time Warner deal announcement underscores the urgency of the FCC approving its broadband privacy rules this Thursday at its Open Meeting. This proposed deal could increase AT&T's opportunity to collect and use personal and sensitive information about American consumers. This information belongs to consumers, not Internet Service Providers and should be protected by strong broadband privacy standards. With strong broadband privacy rules in place, ISPs like AT&T and others would be required to receive consumers consent before sharing their personal information with advertisers and other third-parties.
“I plan to carefully review the proposed AT&T-Time Warner acquisition and assess whether this proposal benefits consumers and promotes the public interest, and I urge regulators to do the same.”