Last updated: February 21, 2008 - 1:08am
[SOURCE: New York Times, AUTHOR: Editorial Staff]
[Commentary] The proposed $67 billion megamerger between AT&T and BellSouth requires the scrutiny of regulators, in particular because it would continue the rapid reconsolidation of the old AT&T monopoly. The company has a strong argument for the deal, because the technological landscape is now completely different from the one in 1984, when Ma Bell was broken up â€” as different as a rotary-dial phone tethered to a land line is from a cellphone with a wireless headset. But this merger also raises important questions about the future of the Internet itself, and about how much giant companies like AT&T will be allowed to control access to it. The health and future of the economy depend on the Internet's remaining a level playing field. So AT&T should be prevented from violating the principle of Internet neutrality, which holds that consumers should be given equal access to Web sites. Regulators must demand it from AT&T as a condition of this deal, and Congress should enact a law ensuring that it applies across the board. This isn't just about fairness. It's about protecting part of the commercial underpinnings that allow businesses in this country to flourish. The rapid consolidation in telecommunications is a source of serious concern for many consumer advocates. The new combined company would wield tremendous clout. The least we could require of it is that it uphold the basic tenets of the Internet.
See also --
AT&T, BELLSOUTH DEAL SHOULD MOVE FORWARD
[SOURCE: Wall Street Journal, AUTHOR: Alan Murray]
[Commentary] But try as I might, I can't find a good reason the merger of AT&T and BellSouth should be stopped. It isn't bad for customers. It isn't bad for shareholders. If a deal can be rejected on history or aesthetics, this deal should be. Otherwise, it should proceed.
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