Press Release

Public Knowledge Files Petition to Deny in AT&T/DirecTV Merger

September 16, 2014

Today, Public Knowledge and the Institute for Local Self-Reliance filed a Petition to Deny in the FCC's AT&T/DirecTV merger proceeding.

The following statement can be attributed to John Bergmayer, Senior Staff Attorney at Public Knowledge:

“The most straightforward way for the FCC to protect TV viewers and internet users from the harm this merger would cause would be to block it.

“However, in the event the FCC does elect to grant this merger with conditions, it must make sure those conditions are verifiable and enforceable. Too often, the FCC approves mergers with conditions that contain loopholes which undermine their intent, or in exchange for unverifiable promises of broadband deployment. The FCC has enough experience with this to know by now that it takes more than promises to protect the public interest.

“This merger could cause public interest harms in a number of ways. Among other things, it would increase AT&T's incentive to push customers away from wired connections onto wireless ones that might not suit their needs, reduce the number of pay TV options customers have in U-Verse territories, and increase AT&T's incentive to discriminate against online video.  The Commission cannot approve this merger unless it is satisfied that it can eliminate these harms, and unless it is satisfied it can verify and enforce any promises of broadband deployment.”

The Petition to Deny can be found here.