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[ NNSquad ] Internet High Tech Sells Out to AT&T/T-Mobile Merger - But Two Majors Are Missing

             Internet High Tech Sells Out to AT&T/T-Mobile Merger 
                      - But Two Majors Are Missing


The New York Times is reporting that a litany of high tech and other
firms filed letters with the FCC yesterday, in support of AT&T's
proposed assimilation of T-Mobile, in a merger that would quickly lead
to what would effectively be a mobile services duopoly in the United
States ( http://j.mp/iIzsZk [New York Times] ).

The list of merger supporters includes Facebook, Microsoft and their
minion Yahoo, Oracle, Research in Motion, and more, including a number
of venture capital firms such as Sequoia Partners.

Last March, in "AT&T's T-Mobile Merger Ploy: Rewarding the Worst" 
( http://j.mp/fs9gic [Lauren's Blog] ), I explained why the proposed
merger was a terrible deal for consumers.

By supporting the merger, these firms have shown their true colors as
far as caring about consumers is concerned.  Take note of it.

But wait a minute.  Something appears amiss within the carefully
coordinated confines of the "Bring back Ma Bell" merger love fest.

Standing out by their absence, neither Google nor Apple appear to have
currently joined the CYA ( http://j.mp/5HRHfQ [Wikipedia] ) rush to
sycophantically suckle the teat of the nearly omnipotent AT&T that
would emerge if the merger is approved.

Google confirmed to me today that they have not taken a formal
position on the merger.  I was unable to immediately reach appropriate
persons at Apple regarding their formal take on this matter.

Apple and Google having not currently joined the AT&T/T-Mobile merger
parade is particularly fascinating when we consider Apple's close
iPhone-based relationship with AT&T, and Google's Android-related
association with T-Mobile.

Given that Google and Apple will have to work with AT&T in the future,
I would not necessarily expect either of these firms to publicly
oppose the merger per se.

But it speaks volumes that neither of these key Internet enterprises
have taken public positions in favor of the merger at this time, in
distinct contrast to Microsoft, Facebook, and the other entities who
are enthusiastically supporting such a drastically anti-consumer

Obviously, situations and positions can change as events evolve.  But
from where I'm sitting right now, it seems pretty apparent who is on
the side of mobile services consumers, versus who is willing to
eagerly sell those consumers down the river.

The firms not joining the list of AT&T/T-mobile merger supporters
appear to have taken full measure of the many ways that the merger
would hurt ordinary mobile and Internet users.

The companies actively supporting the merger, as far as this issue is
concerned anyway, appear to be full of something else entirely.

Lauren Weinstein (lauren@vortex.com): http://www.vortex.com/lauren
Co-Founder: People For Internet Responsibility: http://www.pfir.org
 - Network Neutrality Squad: http://www.nnsquad.org
 - Global Coalition for Transparent Internet Performance: http://www.gctip.org
 - PRIVACY Forum: http://www.vortex.com
Member: ACM Committee on Computers and Public Policy
Blog: http://lauren.vortex.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/laurenweinstein 
Google Buzz: http://j.mp/laurenbuzz 
Tel: +1 (818) 225-2800 / Skype: vortex.com