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  THE LOW INCOME & URBAN HOUSING BLOG  

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

This Big Merger Could Hurt Millions of Low Income Americans

this_merger_could_hurt_millions_of_low_income_americans

Company mergers happen all the time. The latest is a whopper of a deal, involving the nation’s largest phone, Internet and pay-TV provider and a mega entertainment, news and media company. If approved, the $85 billion merger could hurt millions of low-income families in America.

A potential $85 billion merger

The merger involves AT&T buying out Time Warner. These two companies alone affect millions of people already, providing phone and Internet service, entertainment and news. Time Warner owns CNN, HBO, TBS, TNT and Warner Bros. Studios, while AT&T provides phone and Internet service as well as broadband subscription television services through DirecTV. If the merger goes through, it will be the largest company merger ever.

Past examples of higher prices

Although the two companies have stated the merger will result in more competition which will lead to lower prices, millions of low-income families have their doubts. Why? They remember how past mergers have resulted in higher pricing. When AT&T took over DirecTV last year, pricing increased for not only DirecTV services but AT&T broadband services.

Low-income households were already at a disadvantage; 30 million adults, especially Hispanic and African American, cannot afford Internet access. So they miss out on many education and work opportunities because they don't have high-speed Internet connections. If the past is any indication, this latest merger could raise that number even higher.

The merger is pending approval by The Justice Department and other government regulators.

Read more at www.time.com/4547740/att-time-warner-merger-deal-prices/


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