Free Press Action, the Center for Media Justice, Common Cause and the Communications Workers of America held a panel discussion on Tuesday on Capitol Hill to brief lawmakers and congressional staffers about the harmful impacts of the T-Mobile/Sprint merger.
The event, “Mega Mergers and the War on the Poor,” explored how this deal would affect low-income communities and people of color.
Carmen Scurato of Free Press Action moderated the event and Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (New Jersey), a longtime champion of affordable internet access, gave prepared remarks about the importance of low-cost cellular and mobile-data connectivity.
I joined Yosef Getachew of Common Cause, Hooman Hedayati of the Communications Workers of America and Erin Shields of the Center for Media Justice in the discussion of the merger. We briefed lawmakers and staffers about how the deal would lead to nearly 30,000 job losses nationwide and would undermine the Lifeline program, which subsidizes phone and internet access for low-income people. As multiple panelists noted, the merger would raise prices for those who can least afford it.
We also discussed how the deal would destroy competition in the wireless market, and reviewed the nuts and bolts of the regulatory case we’re mounting against the merger at the Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission.
The deal’s regulatory review has perhaps three months left on the clock at the FCC. Panelists urged members of Congress to write letters to regulators highlighting the merger’s problems and to hold public hearings with T-Mobile and Sprint executives to challenge their claims about the deal’s alleged benefits. You can join the fight: Call on the FCC to reject the merger before it's too late.
Check out the video of our discussion below: