… ON THE APPROVALS OF THE VERIZON COMMUNICATIONS INC. MERGER WITH MCI INC. AND THE SBC COMMUNICATIONS INC. TAKEOVER OF AT&T CORP. THE FCC AND DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE ADDED RIDERS TO THE DEALS, INCLUDING REQUIRING THE COMPANIES TO OFFER NAKED DSL, AND EXTEND SPECIAL ACCESS AND UNBUNDLED NETWORK ELEMENT PRICING.
The conditions included in the orders before us require the merged companies to provide offerings that the market might not demand, to sacrifice synergies by needlessly treating their affiliates at arms length and to maintain business relationships based on current assumptions even if those assumptions cease to reflect economic reality. Moreover, the companies will have to abide by these conditions while their most aggressive competitors whether they use wireline, wireless, cable or other next-generation facilities remain exempt.
Republican FCC Commissioner Kathleen Abernathy
The conditions imposed by the FCC and Justice [Department] will not come close to addressing the anticompetitive harms that will be caused by the mergers. The conditions won by the Democratic commissioners are mere fig leafs designed to give the appearance of consumer protection.
COMPTEL President & CEO Earl Comstock
The commissions conditions … 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.
Competitive Enterprise Institute Technology Counsel Braden Cox
This state of affairs is not of my making or choosing. The record shows that I objected vociferously to many of these changes. I would have chosen a very different path than the one we travel today. But in the end, we are charged with considering these mergers in the context of the world that is, not the one that might have been.
Democratic FCC Commissioner Michael Copps