Wow, I recently heard that AT&T was going to buy Time Warner. Someone also mentioned to me that President elect Donald Trump was against this merger. This merger troubles me as well.
Let’s take a look back at the past. It used to be very expensive to make toll calls. A toll call is a call made outside of your local area. For example if you live in New York and Want to call someone in Los Angeles. This would be a toll call. From the mid 50s up until the late 70s AT&T built up a giant monopoly network, that made toll calling extremely expensive, because there was no need for them to reduce costs. Some other regional carriers were around, like General Telephone, which later became Verizon, but these companies were only in small portions of the country and still needed to access the network that belonged to AT&T whenever they went out of their regional zones.
People had to pay a lot, there was no competition, and the government finally put their foot down, and took AT&T to court over it. In 1982 AT&T made the decision that they were losing the court battle with the American people, and agreed to break up their company. Thus the “Baby Bells” were created.
Companies like Ameritech, Pacific Telesis, BellSouth, and Southwestern Bell. Good things started happening after AT&T was broken up. Other long distance telephone companies popped up, and the price went down to make a toll call. It went down substantially until it was no longer a big deal to pick up the phone and call Los Angeles from New York. The companies MCI and Sprint and a few other smaller ones, made a name for themselves in the long distance business. Even though it was difficult to use them. You had to type in a code to switch to their network. This was a series of 01 combinations. People found the worth in remembering those combinations as Sprint or MCI could save you hundreds of dollars monthly in toll charges.
The Baby Bells were formed to stop AT&T from having a monopoly on all communication in the United States, and it was good. This was not mandated by law. It was AT&T’s idea in a settlement with the government who would have won the lawsuit and set precedence that would stop this type of predatory business from happening again, but they settled, and they didn’t stop it.
Well, guess what, we let it happen again. Soutwestern Bell became SBC. Then SBC one of the former Baby Bells started buying up other Baby Bells. Until the majority of Baby Bells were SBC. Then SBC bought AT&T making AT&T a giant again. Then they changed their name from SBC to AT&T. Perhaps if you count the mobile telephone business as well. AT&T is larger now, then when the United States of America decided to sue them and break their monopoly.
Then AT&T acquired DirectTV, and DirectTV Now was born. Of course, and it is only fair, since AT&T owns DirectTV, they don’t pay for the bandwidth that they use on the AT&T network. That’s great, except the FCC doesn’t think it is particularly fair to other companies that need to pay AT&T, since probably they shouldn’t have been allowed to buy DirectTV in the first place, but they were allowed, and that’s where things are.
Now if you are currently an AT&T Uverse customer, don’t think you are going to be able to benefit from this. You are still going to pay to much for what you get. AT&T isn’t going to offer you DirectTV, and they aren’t going to allow you to switch to DirectTV. You get to pay hundreds of dollars more for the same service, and support their power grab, because, well, somebody has to pay.
Next on the list for the giant reincarnated AT&T is Time Warner. That would include Time Warner internet, cable and their movie and television productions, like CNN. The fair and balanced news network that brought us all of the great election news so recently. When this merger happens, unless Donald Trump can get his way and stop it. AT&T will be back to having the ability to overcharge you, under service you, and even control what you can see on the internet. That is so much power for one company to have. They would have the ability to restrict bandwidth to their competitors like Fox, or 8chan and make the only viable news service CNN. This makes good corporate sense. It is the correct path in business to increase stockholder wealth. Certainly AT&T will be a must have stock in everyone’s portfolio if they have so much power. AT&T would be stronger than the US government, and will be able to control elections in the future at an unprecedented level of potential censorship.