T-Mobile, Metro PCS merger sets ‘worrisome precedent,’ says Greenlining Institute
Impact on low-income communities a concern
WASHINGTON—The decision by the Federal Communications Commission to approve the proposed merger of T-Mobile and Metro PCS sets a worrisome precedent, telecommunications policy experts at The Greenlining Institute said Tuesday. Greenlining had urged the commission to slow down the process, consider community input, and impose conditions on the new company should it approve the merger.
“This deal has serious potential impacts on the most vulnerable communities,” said Greenlining Institute Energy and Telecommunications Policy Director Stephanie Chen. “It’s worrisome that a matter of such importance was decided at the bureau level, without a vote by the full commission. We are troubled that the commission took a pass on fully evaluating a transaction that could result in inferior service quality for low-income consumers, reduce employment and franchise
opportunities, and reduce or eliminate T-Mobile’s commitments to diversity. We hope the FCC isn’t establishing a pattern of giving a free pass to future transactions that could harm communities of color and low-income communities.
“The FCC’s Wireless Transactions Bureau apparently feels that the market will address our concerns,” Chen added. “We’re not convinced that a market that is currently failing to adequately serve our communities will get better with one fewer competitor in the mix.”
The Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice recently began their review of AT&T’s bid to purchase rival mobile service provider T-Mobile for $39 billion. The FCC and the DOJ will investigate the impact the merger will have on competition in the wireless market.
WASHINGTON—The Federal Communications Commission, once viewed as an ally in expanding media ownership by African Americans, is now considering regulations that many say will make Black ownership more difficult to achieve.
The proposed changes come in the wake of an FCC report that showed that minorities trailed far behind their White counterparts in the ownership of broadcast stations.
LOS ANGELES, Calid.—City Controller Wendy Greuel said today she subpoenaed three cell phone companies and accused them of failing to comply with repeated requests to turn over five years of city cell phone bills.
Greuel said she employed the rarely used power after AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile and Sprint Nextel Corp. declined her requests or asked for extensions over a period of several months. Verizon handed over the requested bills last week, the controller said.
It seems so natural today. Having cable television in our homes, giving us a vast selection of channels from which to choose, is a given condition for the vast majority of us. I can remember in my early years it was not like that. We had the three networks and a few local channels. A Black face on television doing something productive was very few and far between. When the great singer Nat King Cole got his own television show in Los Angeles we were all so proud. Our music was available to us and we were indeed becoming a valuable part of American culture.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—Los Angeles Clippers forward and 2010-11 T-Mobile NBA Rookie of the Year Blake Griffin has donated the autographed 2011 Kia Optima midsize sedan used in his jaw-dropping dunk in the Sprite Slam Dunk at NBA All-Star 2011 for a public charity auction on AutoTrader.com to benefit Stand Up To Cancer.