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WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Communications Workers of America supports the decision by the Federal Communications Commission to “stop the clock” on its review of a proposed deal between Verizon Wireless and large cable operators, noting the action is an important step forward in assuring full disclosure of the potential impact on consumers and the prices they would pay.
“Today’s FCC decision simply shows that as federal regulators look more closely at this proposal, the more they are seeing the potential problems,” said CWA Telecommunications Policy Director Debbie Goldman. “CWA and many other national groups are saying it’s important that all the facts regarding the impact of this proposed merger – particularly ones concerning pricing and competition – see the light of day.”
On April 20, the CWA wrote a letter on the FCC to stop the 180-day clock in its review of the Verizon Wireless/Cable transaction that would allow Verizon, Comcast, Bright House, Cox and Time Warner to market each other’s products and services. CWA asserted in the filing that the parties to the transaction have failed to provide requested data in a manner that allows for meaningful review. CWA also urged the FCC to follow the precedent it used in prior transaction reviews in which it stopped the clock until the agency and outside parties received requested documents in an accessible format and had a chance to review their content.
Meanwhile, public concern about the implications of the deal has mounted, with growing numbers of elected officials, consumer advocacy organizations, civil rights organizations, smaller cable providers, telecom workers, and individual consumers voicing their opposition to the venture. Boston Mayor Thomas Menino commissioned a study detailing the economic dangers of the deal for urban areas and the Maryland Chapter of the NAACP filed comments to the FCC explaining how concentrated power in the industry would put poor and minority communities at further economic disadvantage.
Further, residents of Syracuse, N.Y., protested the partnership, and over 145,000 consumers nationwide have signed an online petition against the deal. Last week, Rep. Henry Waxman and Rep. Anna Eshoo added their voices to the dissent by urging the House Committee on Energy and Commerce to hold public hearings on the deal.
Contact: Chuck Porcari, CWA Communications 202-434-1168, email@example.com