Today, the National Digital Inclusion Alliance and Connect Your Community published a report indicating that AT&T has “systematically discriminated against lower-income Cleveland neighborhoods in its deployment of home internet and video technologies over the past decade.”
Public Knowledge President Gene Kimmelman will testify before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights this Wednesday, December 7 at 10:00 a.m. His testimony in the hearing on “Examining the Competitive Impact of the AT&T-Time Warner Transaction” will argue that this vertical merger poses significant consumer harms by restraining competition and violating consumer privacy.
Today, the Department of Justice filed suit against DirecTV, which is now owned by AT&T, alleging that DirecTV engaged in illegal collusive behavior with other pay-TV providers prior to the AT&T/DirecTV merger. AT&T is named as one of the pay-TV providers DirecTV colluded with. AT&T recently announced that it will attempt to acquire Time Warner.
It may seem odd for me to say, and meaning no offense to his replacement Bob Quinn, but I am sorry to see Jim Cicconi retire from AT&T at the end of this month. For those who don’t play in this pond, Cicconi has been AT&T’s Lobbyist in Chief here in D.C. since 2005. It may therefore seem odd that I am sorry to see him go, particularly since Cicconi was so damned good at his job. But, as I have said many times before, I’m not here because companies are evil, nor do I believe the people working for them necessarily delight in crushing consumers, strangling puppies and tossing destitute widows and orphans on the street in rags in the dead of winter. (At least not in telecom. The copyright folks, on the other hand, were ready to screw over the blind a few years back just for giggles. But I digress.)