DECEMBER 02, 2011 / BY CAMPAIGN STAFF Proposed AT&T / T-Mobile merger continues to fall apart

The AT&T and T-Mobile deal just hit another major roadblock. First, the Department of Justice let the telecom giants know that it would stand with consumers against the monopoly move and reject the deal. And now the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has weighed in with a withering report that indicates they also understand what's at risk.

This is huge news for the ColorOfChange community. In September, nearly 53,000 of our members signed a petition to stop the proposed merger. The petition, aimed at FCC Commissioner Julius Genachowski, urged the agency to scrutinize claims made by AT&T that the deal would be good for competition, create jobs, and lower prices. In reality, we argued, a merger of the second and fourth largest mobile carrier companies threatens to destroy jobs, raise prices for cellular service, and squash net neutrality. The new FCC report echoes what we argued months ago. 

So why does this matter to Black folks in particular? According to a report released by the PEW research center, "African Americans are the most active users of the mobile internet – and their use of it is also growing the fastest. This means the digital divide between African Americans and white Americans diminishes when mobile use is taken into account." In other words, the need for low-cost cellular service is crucial for the Black community. It's why our community mobilized when 76 members of Congress (with close ties to the mobile giants) came out in support of the deal. More than 44,000 ColorOfChange members signed a petition urging those elected officials to rescind their support.

We clearly have AT&T on the ropes. On Thanksgiving, the company withdrew its current application to the FCC, stating that they will now focus on defending their $39 billion deal from an lawsuit filed by the DOJ. Stay tuned...