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AT&T's Congressional Friends Parrot AT&T T-Mobile Support
Repeat Already Debunked Job Creation, Network Expansion Claims
by Karl Bode 08:52AM Friday Sep 16 2011 Tipped by Gbcue See Profile
AT&T has donated more to campaign contributions than any company since 1989, so it's none too surprising to see 15 members of both parties in Congress send the Obama Administration a letter insisting the DOJ should stop blocking the AT&T T-Mobile merger. Representatives like Heath Shuler (D-NC), who has seen roughly $25,000 in AT&T cash donations over the course of his political career, was happy to parrot AT&T's merger benefit claims (jobs, network expansion, lower prices, more competition), apparently unbothered that nearly all of those claims have been thoroughly debunked by rudimentary fact checking.

From the letter:
quote:
We recognize that the Department of Justice has intervened in the merger to ensure competitive markets and protect consumers. Addressing these concerns through a settlement agreement that ensures robust competition while preserving the job creation, capital infrastructure investment and wireless broadband deployment benefits of the merger should be the Department’s goal.
Except again (because this point isn't getting through, apparently) history and AT&T's own data (both leaked and statements to investors) show that the T-Mobile deal will eliminate far more jobs than it creates, and it will reduce the overall amount of capital infrastructure investment through the elimination of T-Mobile. It's indisputable that AT&T's acquisition of T-Mobile is only good for AT&T through the erosion of competition. Yet the "debate" on this front continues as AT&T tries to get the DOJ to back away from their blockade -- by throwing cash around and repeating themselves.

There will of course likely be a settlement, but it's not clear if any conditions could aid the anti-competitive problems created by this deal. The DOJ and FCC likely want to approve this deal, they simply need to sell the public and press on it. What we'll likely see is a dog and pony show involving AT&T being "forced" to divest a small number of markets they likely weren't interested in anyway. You'll also likely see some additional network-neutrality-esque conditions that look good on paper, but don't force AT&T to do anything they weren't planning to do voluntarily.

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pnh102
Reptiles Are Cuddly And Pretty
Premium
join:2002-05-02
Mount Airy, MD

See?

Was anyone really surprised? All the concerns raised by the government will start to go away, just like that.
--
"Net Neutrality" zealots - the people you can thank for your capped Internet service.

cdru
Go Colts
Premium,MVM
join:2003-05-14
Fort Wayne, IN
kudos:7

They are absolutely right

quote:
Addressing these concerns through a settlement agreement that ensures robust competition while preserving the job creation, capital infrastructure investment and wireless broadband deployment benefits of the merger should be the Department’s goal.
The DOJ goal should be a settlement agreement that does all those things. However since there is no way that ANY type of settlement agreement can do all those things, or even a majority of those things successfully, the only settlement agreement that would be possible is no settlement agreement.

Screwed

@verizon.net

Sell-out

Amazing that Shuler would sell-out his country for a sum as small as $25,000! It is defintely time for term limits to get these professional whores out of office.

Rambo76098

join:2003-02-21
Columbus, OH

Re: Sell-out

Agreed.

spewak
R.I.P Dadkins
Premium
join:2001-08-07
Elk Grove, CA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·SureWest Internet

Re: Sell-out

said by Rambo76098:

Agreed.

Agreed +1
--
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trparky
Apple... YUM
Premium,MVM
join:2000-05-24
Cleveland, OH
kudos:2

Re: Sell-out

Agreed +2
sandman_1

join:2011-04-23
11111

Re: Sell-out

Agreed +3 and a lot more other things to help keep the idiots out of government.
kevin_pink

join:2006-10-15
Bronx, NY

Re: Sell-out

but you're underestimating the corruptability of those elected after the career pol's get off ...
i don't disagree on this as a part of a solution but it certainly won't do much to stop the bribing lobbying
NuShrike

join:2010-09-01
In any other legal circumstance this is a conflict of interest (due to the lobbying money they took), but not this time?

Rambo76098

join:2003-02-21
Columbus, OH
Reviews:
·WOW Internet and..

Re: Sell-out

said by NuShrike:

In any other legal circumstance this is a conflict of interest (due to the lobbying money they took), but not this time?

It's not a conflict of interest when you make the rules for what is and is not a conflict of interest!

There's a reason the founding fathers called it "serving": It was meant to be a temporary sacrifice, not a lifelong career.

n2jtx

join:2001-01-13
Glen Head, NY

Not Surprised

Considering the amount of money these fifteen member of Congress received from AT&T, I am surprised they don't have AT&T bumper stickers attached to their clothes. However, it is nothing unusual. Go to the FCC website and read all the letters from politicians and business groups supporting the merger. They are all phrased the same way and repeat the same lies. It is amazing that none of these people/groups can generate an original thought on the subject and simply copy AT&T's boilerplate. You find much more original thought in the average citizen comments (excluding those that were generated by clicking on a website button).
--
I support the right to keep and arm bears.
AndyDufresne
Premium
join:2010-10-30
Chanhassen, MN

corrupt bastards

Those freaking republicans! political whores.

"A group of 15 house democrats led by U.S. Representative Heath Shuler have urged the U.S. President Barack Obama to settle the proposed merger between telecommunications giant AT&T, Inc. and Bellevue, Washington-based T-Mobile USA, Inc."

»www.rttnews.com/Content/Breaking···=1715183

Can someone name a politician that can't be purchased?

All the same no matter what they say.

buddahbless

join:2005-03-21
Premium
Reviews:
·T-Mobile US
·AT&T DSL Service

1 edit

Re: corrupt bastards

said by AndyDufresne:

Can someone name a politician that can't be purchased?

I can ! George Washington, Abraham Lincoln..... etc. to Bad there all deceased

I guess its true..."the only good politician is a dead one"

AR
Premium,ExMod 2001-04
join:2000-09-21
Toronto, ON

umm...$25,000 over 4.5yrs isn't a LOT of donations

No fan of ATT or supporter of the buyout but really, unless you're missing a zero in that "payout" amount there Karl, $25,000 isn't really indicative of political corruption. Ignorance yes maybe, but a sellout for 25k? I put more than that on my cash back card in one year!

buddahbless

join:2005-03-21
Premium
Reviews:
·T-Mobile US
·AT&T DSL Service

Re: umm...$25,000 over 4.5yrs isn't a LOT of donations

OK however just remember your In Toronto, as I type this now Im an American taking a 2 week vacation in Scarborough ONT. ( just so you know).. 25K for you may not seem like a lot As I know how high (personally I lived in the GTA for 4+ yrs prior) your cost of living is, however for the Average American its more than enough to be considered corrupt.

Just remember...
Grocery...we pay 0.69 cents per lb of chicken ( save-a-lot or Aldi) in the USA, Canada you pay $1.59 (Nofrills)
GAS... we pay average $3.65 a gallon , Canada you pay $4.85.
Electronics.. we pay average $349 for a modern notebook.. you pay $499.
Not to mention in the end Canadian loonie is valued higher than American (US) dollar @ todays date!

IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1

Kickbacks

Those campaign donations are probably bribes instead of donations. Now those members of congress should be investigated by the DOJ.

Camaro
Question everything
Premium
join:2008-04-05
Westfield, MA
kudos:1

Re: Kickbacks

Kind of hard to do that when the people receiving the "donations" are also in charge of investigating.Talk about a ass backward accountability system.

buddahbless

join:2005-03-21
Premium
Reviews:
·T-Mobile US
·AT&T DSL Service

Bring it to Obama..

REMEMBER AND I QUOTE......WASHINGTON, Sept 1 (Reuters) - The White House had no role in the Justice Department's decision to sue to block AT&T Inc's $39 billion purchase of T-Mobile USA,
"The decision was made by the Justice Department. It's a law enforcement action," said White House spokesman Jay Carney. "The White House did not have a role in making the decision."

I will for the first time ever write my president a letter( and send it USPS priority LOL) asking him to stop this merger dead in its tracks. Mr. President you say we need more jobs in America, unless ATT guarantees for a minimum of 10+ yrs to not lay off one ATT or T-mobile employee / contractor or subcontractor or close any stores and bring back over 5k jobs form over seas, while adding at least 1k jobs per year in the US for the next 10 yrs, while also putting in writing no price increase for ATT or TMO customers for at least 5 yrs and must let TMO customers have an everything unlimited plan option ( under $50) if migrated to ATT which includes unlimited smartphone data at 4g ETC, etc, etc... Or uncle sam can take control of ATT and break it up again. I do NOT see President Obama signing the green light on this deal, because ATT would never go along with those terms.
nutcr0cker

join:2003-04-02
Chandler, AZ
kudos:2

Re: Bring it to Obama..

Obama will let the merger go ahead and tell us "the b(f)ick stops here". 2012 cannot come soon enough though I voted for him the last time. The guy has less spine than a jellyfish and in a time of crisis we need a leader not an clueless community organizer

wildfire

@sbcglobal.net

Re: Bring it to Obama..

You actually think it makes any difference. If McCain (or any republican) were president, the merger would have already been approved.

coldmoon
Premium
join:2002-02-04
Broadway, NC
Reviews:
·Windstream
said by nutcr0cker:

Obama will let the merger go ahead and tell us "the b(f)ick stops here". 2012 cannot come soon enough though I voted for him the last time. The guy has less spine than a jellyfish and in a time of crisis we need a leader not an clueless community organizer

And where will this "leader" come from? I certainly hope you are not thinking of the current slate of clowns on the Republican side...
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NOCTech75
Premium
join:2009-06-29
Marietta, GA
Reviews:
·Comcast

Re: Bring it to Obama..

said by coldmoon:

said by nutcr0cker:

Obama will let the merger go ahead and tell us "the b(f)ick stops here". 2012 cannot come soon enough though I voted for him the last time. The guy has less spine than a jellyfish and in a time of crisis we need a leader not an clueless community organizer

And where will this "leader" come from? I certainly hope you are not thinking of the current slate of clowns on the Republican side...

There are other parties to look at. This it's us or the other side game played does nothing to further the country, instead folks like you enjoy polarizing your side while the only response that you can come up with is "well the other side sucks!" But then again Obama has spent his entire presidency saying the other side sucks so it makes sense that will what he campaigns on. Both sides suck, the quicker America realizes this and gets out of the Democrat and Republican brain washing the better.
rahvin112

join:2002-05-24
Sandy, UT
There are a couple very nice non-clowns on the republican side. The problem is they have a snowballs chance in hell of getting the parties nomination. The fact is the republicans are most likely going to put up the craziest idiot they can find and Obama will win again.

I"m likely going to be voting Libertarian again as a result. If more people were willing to vote for a third party things would get fixed. Instead we have a party that's not conservative claiming they are (and successfully convincing people that big government and legislating morality is conservative, hint it's not) and a liberal party thats more interested in protecting big government and lifetime government support than trying to actually help people.

Ultimately 2012 is likely to be a choice between a wet noodle with no spine and a moron who's goal is to rewrite the constitution and make government even more political. That's not a choice.

coldmoon
Premium
join:2002-02-04
Broadway, NC
Reviews:
·Windstream

Re: Bring it to Obama..

To both NOCTech75 and rahvin112:

I am not being partisan here, only saying that there is going to be a "choice" between what we know and what will be even worse...

I have voted Republican in the past and was actually a Reagan Democrat to boot. Don't simply assume that I would not go that way again if there was someone to actually vote for rather than be entertained by...
--
Returnil - 21st Century body armor for your PC

FFH5
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5
said by nutcr0cker:

Obama will let the merger go ahead and tell us "the b(f)ick stops here". 2012 cannot come soon enough though I voted for him the last time. The guy has less spine than a jellyfish and in a time of crisis we need a leader not an clueless community organizer

I doubt Obama steps in to cause DOJ to back off here. His campaign for 2012 has a populist element where he knocks big business for destroying the middle class and jobs. Sticking it to AT&T fits his overall sales pitch as champion of the underclass.
--
»www.rickperry.org/
kevin_pink

join:2006-10-15
Bronx, NY
how much $ do you plan on giving him so he will actually read it?

Camaro
Question everything
Premium
join:2008-04-05
Westfield, MA
kudos:1

AT&T has friends ?

I thought they just had bitches everywhere doing there dirty work.
RDC17

join:2011-05-15
Baltimore, MD

1 year until elections...

And the AT&T faithful in congress are asking for their annual donations. All they have to do is say they approve the deal and the check is in their hands.

I don't know why some of you act surprised. AT&T is an equal opportunity donator...as long as you stand next to them.
old_wiz_60

join:2005-06-03
Bedford, MA

"Congressional Friends"

is really another way of saying "Bribed Congressmen". They have to parrot the AT&T crap since they owe AT&T votes and voices in return for the "campaign contributions". Most countries call this bribery, but here it is business as usual.

WHT

join:2010-03-26
Rosston, TX
kudos:5

Divesting those "small markets"

quote:
What we'll likely see is a dog and pony show involving AT&T being "forced" to divest a small number of markets they likely weren't interested in anyway
Like that 17% footprint jump from 80% to 97% they figured wasn't worth the effort?

What is the lessor of the two evils? "AT&T marketing, who was well aware that leaving LTE investment at 80% would leave them at a competitive disadvantage to Verizon" or keeping Sprint at bay?

sydbarrett74

@verizon.net

Blue Dog Coalition

One of the points I'm surprised people aren't bringing up is that every single Democrat who signed the letter is a member of the Blue Dog Coalition, i.e., a DINO or Democrat In Name Only. They ran as Democrats for the sole purpose of defeating fellow conservatives. 40 years ago they would've been called Dixiecrats.
pkorx8

join:2003-06-19
San Francisco, CA

The system doesn't work

$25K is not much considering what is on the line....

The system doesn't work, considering how little ATT needs to spend versus the reward of the deal.
There are 535 people in the US Congress. Even if ATT manages to "lobby" each memeber at $1M each, for a total of $535M, that is a lot less (72.9 times less) than what the deal is worth at $39B.
Even if ATT looks at the worst case where it has to pay tmobile the $5B breakup fee, $535M is a LOT less than $5B.

...............................
There is probably a metric out there:
Minimum lobby dollar per congressman to "acheive outcome". Multiple that by 535 and that is the "make or break number" a corporation will decide if a new venture is worth it.
tmc8080

join:2004-04-24
Brooklyn, NY
Reviews:
·ooma
·Optimum Online
·Verizon FiOS

corrupt much?

vote the scum out of office!
I'm very anti-incumbent-- and that includes Obama. This and next November do yourself a favor and vote out all the incumbents. Until there's 100% new populations in congress nothing important will get done. Party doesn't matter anymore... getting less corrupt people in office does. Flush the entire elected office in that voting booth... from your local pissant electied officals who have been there longer than god right up to and including the president! make history anew! get all incumbents out of office! do your research-- find out who's the incumbent and pick someone else. I'm especially pissed at those who have been in congress more than 12 years.. YOU DO NOT DESERVE A LIFETIME JOB!! DO SOMETHING ELSE OR GET FIRED BY THE VOTER!
kevin_pink

join:2006-10-15
Bronx, NY

Re: corrupt much?

But again what's to stop the fresh pol's from accepting bribes and running shit the exact same way they do now?
Matt7

join:2001-01-02
Columbus, OH

money

If AT&T gave me $25k.. I'd be a "happy" AT&T customer!!