03:59 GMT +318 August 2019
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    The cable industry’s recent spout of potty mouth seems to have spread to Time Warner.

    Monopoly Money - AT&T Merger With Time Warner an Attempt to Kill the Competition

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    Amid discussions around communications giant AT&T’s plans to acquire entertainment multinational corporation Time Warner, Radio Sputnik’s Loud & Clear host Brian Becker is joined by Timothy Karr, senior director of strategy at FreePress, to talk about the mega-merger.

    FreePress has openly warned against the merger of AT&T and Time Warner, pointing out that the monopoly will most certainly give rise to higher costs for consumers. When corporations of this size merge, he said, the top brass discusses expensive innovations designed to appease shareholders, and prices go up. He added that layoffs are a common occurrence, as well.

    Karr stated, "While the executives of these companies and some of the top shareholders will be making a lot of money, it's the consumers who'll probably suffer the most."

    Another problem endemic to a business deal of this size is that the purchasing company, in this case AT&T, will take on an enormous debt and quickly pass that charge along to its customers.

    Recently, AT&T's eager capitulation to the NSA, in turning over customer personal data through a program called Project Hemisphere, has revealed that the company is selling information to the government, and, astonishingly, turning a profit at the expense of user privacy.

    "This is not a new story, you go back to years of AT&T cooperation with the NSA to spy on customers," Karr said. "This merger just means that a company that cares very little for the privacy of its users is going to be even larger," he said.

    There are several key issues relating to the merger that federal regulators will closely study. AT&T, according to Karr, doesn't "want a rule that protects the open internet, as they think that they can also profit from prioritizing a certain type of content."

    Karr offers that federal regulators must rule against the merger, as a monopoly that concentrates vast reserves of content, alongside controlling the technology used to distribute it, is plainly antitrust.

    Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has disapproved of the merger between AT&T and Time Warner, suggesting that it would place "too much concentration of power in the hands of too few."

    Related:

    Obama Not Taking Position on AT&T-Time Warner Merger - White House
    AT&T, Time Warner Face Differing Debt Outlooks if Merger Goes Through
    Trump Slams Massive AT&T, Time Warner Deal: 'Too Much Concentration of Power'
    Tags:
    telecommunications, merger, National Security Agency (NSA), Time Warner, AT&T, Donald Trump, United States
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