FCC Commissioner and consolidation critic Michael Copps may have left the commission, but he is holding to his pledge by speaking out on the issue on which he passionate at a recent going-away party hosted by the National Cable & Telecommunications Association.
“Antitrust hasn’t been the strong suit of many recent Administrations,” he said, according to an embargoed copy of his speech, “but Department of Justice and FCC action on the proposed AT&T-T-Mobile transaction showed life where some had thought the oxygen was long gone. Now, with the proposed Verizon-cable deal, another canary is sent into the coal mine to see if the oxygen is still there. Why this deal should be so much more difficult than ATT-T-Mobile is difficult for me to understand. No matter what you call it — cabal, cartel, collusion, conspiracy in restraint of trade — I don’t see how anyone can claim that reducing competition in both wireless and wireline somehow advances the well-being of consumers.”