FCC Approves Mergers of SBC Communications with AT&T and of Verizon Communications with MCI

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Federal Communications Commission approved two major telecommunications mergers.

The mergers of SBC Communications with ATandT and of Verizon Communications with MCI were approved this morning in a vote by FCC commissioners. CEI previously filed formal comments on the impacts of both the SBC and Verizon mergers.

"The FCC should be congratulated for approving these mergers," said technology counsel Braden Cox. "However, the Commission's conditions forcing unbundled DSL, regulating wholesale rates and freezing current arrangements for exchanging traffic still reflect a narrow perspective of competition. Rapid developments in technology, along with an environment where cable, telephone, and wireless companies all compete against each other, will help ensure competition in the industry. The conditions are unnecessary burdens to the potential gains these mergers create. Synergies delayed are consumer benefits denied."
"The acquisitions of ATandT and MCI by SBC and Verizon have stoked unwarranted fears of market domination," said Cox, "while ignoring the fact that the various forms of content delivered over multiple and competing communications networks guarantees that the merged entities will face a competitive marketplace."

"While we understand that the President has many other priorities, it is long overdue for the White House to put forward a candidate who will help guide the FCC toward much needed free market reforms," said Cox.

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