Online petitions opposing the proposed AT&T-Time Warner merger have collected 115,000 signatures and counting, according to Demand Progress, Free Press and Credo Action, which are all hosting petitions on their web pages. The wording is different but the message is the same.
"Stop the merger of AT&T and Time Warner, which would hurt consumers, decrease competition and drastically increase market concentration," the Credo Action petition says, which is targeted at the Justice Department's antitrust division (the FCC may or may not be vetting the deal depending on whether it can be structured to exclude the handful of FCC licenses Time Warner has).
The groups talk about the merger being a "dangerous concentration of economic and political power," essentially lumping it in with other "megamergers" as being about lining the pockets of big business instead of consumer welfare.
"Unless you’re a Time Warner shareholder, one of its corner-office executives, or an AT&T lobbyist, this merger would be catastrophic,” said Free Press field director Mary Alice Crim.
AT&T and Time Warner say the deal is about making the combined company a stronger online video competitor to traditional cable, particularly on the mobile broadband front.
The Senate Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee is scheduled to look into the competitive impact of the deal in a Dec. 7 hearing.