Federal court approves AT&T-Time Warner merger. Now it’s more important than ever that we fight to restore net neutrality protections.
TL;DR: This is why giant ISPs like AT&T have lobbied so hard to kill net neutrality. They’re buying up content and want new powers to make competing sites, apps, and services more expensive. But Congress can stop this by restoring strong net neutrality protections. Click here to call your lawmakers ASAP.
Today a U.S. District court approved telecommunication giant AT&T’s $85.4 billion dollar bid to takeover Time Warner. The deal, which was widely opposed by public interest groups over fears it would raise consumer costs and restrict competition, would give AT&T ownership over popular networks like HBO and CNN.
The news comes hot on the heels of the FCC’s net neutrality repeal coming into effect Monday. Without strong net neutrality rules in place, the merger will have devastating consequences for free expression online — including for media outlets across the political spectrum that compete with CNN. Going forward there is nothing legally preventing Internet providers like AT&T from blocking, throttling, or charging more for sites that compete with content it owns.
Today’s decision sets a dangerous precedent for a future mergers (including the proposed T-Mobile/Sprint deal), and underscores the need for strong net neutrality rules. While the U.S. Senate recently passed a historic bipartisan resolution to overturn the repeal, Internet users, startups, and small businesses across the country are now working to force the House of Representatives to do the same.
The Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution’s momentum in Congress is proof that net neutrality is not dead yet — not by a long shot. If Internet users come together, we can convince the House of Representatives to pass the resolution to block the FCC’s repeal, and, in the process, block many of the harms introduced by AT&T’s massive concentration of power.