ColorOfChange.org Urges Congressional Black Caucus Members Not to Sign Letter In Support of AT&T and T-Mobile Merger
Congressman Butterfield Circulating Letter to Endorse Merger; Merger Expected to Have Negative Effects on African-American Community
June 24, 2011
NEW YORK – Today, ColorOfChange.org sent a letter to members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) urging them not to sign a letter currently being circulated by Congressman GK Butterfield in support of the proposed merger between AT&T and T-Mobile. The letter is part of ColorOfChange.org’s on-going campaign to block the merger due to the negative consequences it will have, especially on the African-American community.
“The AT&T and T-Mobile merger is likely to destroy jobs, raise the price of cellular service, and threaten net neutrality for wireless high-speed Internet, and that is why we have sent a letter to the members of the CBC,” said Rashad Robinson, Executive Director of ColorOfChange.org. “The CBC needs to understand the negative effects the merger will have on their constituents and so we ask that they do not sign the letter currently being circulated by Congressman Butterfield.”
In the letter sent to CBC members Congresswoman Lacy Clay (D-MO), Congressman Greg Meeks (D-NY), Congresswoman Donna Christensen (D-VI), Congressman Hank Johnson (D-GA) and Congressman Al Green (D-TX), the group challenged what it called misleading and deceptive arguments from AT&T.
AT&T and some civil rights organizations claim that the merger will help close the digital divide by allowing AT&T to speed up its deployment of high-speed wireless Internet service. ColorOfChange.org says that allowing AT&T to take over T-Mobile will actually hurt access to high-speed internet for African-Americans. With less competition, prices for mobile Internet will go up — and it will become more difficult to close the digital divide since broadband access would remain unaffordable for too many people of color. Some groups have also stated that the merger will be good for African-American and Latino workers. ColorOfChange.org notes that mergers almost always lead to layoffs as the merging companies seek to eliminate redundant jobs, and there is no reason to expect that this merger will be any different.
Last month, ColorOfChange.org launched a campaign directed at the CBC regarding their opposition to the FCC’s efforts to protect the free and open nature of the Internet. The campaign involved members placing more than 1,750 phone calls to eight members of the CBC urging they represented the interest of their constituents and not those of the telecommunications and cable industries.
On Monday, June 20, 2011, ColorOfChange.org submitted nearly 50,000 comments to the FCC urging the commission to block the deal. ColorOfChange.org’s email to its members contains a detailed rebuttal of claims made in support of the merger by AT&T and various civil rights organizations, and can be found here:
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With more than 750,000 members, ColorOfChange.org is the nation’s largest African-American online political organization
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