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WASHINGTON -- Free Press Policy Adviser Joel Kelsey will testify Wednesday on behalf of Free Press before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights. Kelsey’s testimony is part of a hearing on Verizon’s plan to buy spectrum from a group of cable companies and on the joint marketing agreements the companies have struck alongside the spectrum sale.

In his testimony, Kelsey will highlight how this deal will harm competition and consumers. Two carriers currently dominate the wireless market, and the market for wired broadband is tipping toward a cable-company monopoly.

In his testimony, Kelsey says the deal would limit competition and result in higher prices and fewer choices for consumers.

Excerpts from spoken testimony:

“We’ve heard a lot about the ‘spectrum crisis,’ but today I’d like to point out we face an equally large competition crisis. This is a crisis that consumers are already facing today as they get locked in to more expensive multi-year bundles, while competitors are locked out of entering the marketplace to offer better alternatives.

“The consolidation we’ve been experiencing is no accident. It is not the hand of the free market. Rather, it’s the outcome of public policy decisions that have unwound protections on competition and placed a disproportionate amount of the nation’s most valuable spectrum into the hands of just two companies.

“There is no reason this pattern of poorly protecting the public interest has to continue. The DoJ and FCC showed immense analytical skill and political courage in rejecting the AT&T/T-Mobile merger. If that was the down payment on future competition, preventing this proposed transaction should be the next installment.”

For a copy of Kelsey’s full written testimony, go to:


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