Groups from both ends of the political spectrum wrote to the Department of Justice on Thursday calling for the agency to consider blocking the AT&T-Time Warner merger.
In a letter to Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsIntel leaders: Collusion still open part of investigation Republicans jockey for position on immigration Biden to Alabama: No more extremist senators MORE, the organizations argued that the $85 billion deal could hurt consumers and the diversity of the media industry.
“While the undersigned groups’ opinions diverge significantly on many policy issues, we are united in our desire to ensure that free expression is not threatened by an increasingly limited number of companies that dominate U.S. media,” the letter reads. “We hope that the department seeks aggressively to defend these principles as it reviews the pending merger.”
The letter was signed by organizations including Public Knowledge, a left-leaning tech policy group; the socially conservative American Family Association; Tea Party Patriots; Americans for Limited Government and the Consumer Federation of America.
“We have consistently demonstrated how this transaction will benefit consumers,” AT&T spokesman Michael Balmoris said in response. “We look forward to closing the transaction by year-end so that we can bring consumers these benefits, including greater competition and innovative services.”
Democrats have loudly criticized the deal, warning regulators of potential anticompetitive effects on content creators and consumers. But despite the opposition, the Department of Justice is widely expected to sign off on the merger in the coming months.