Sunday, September 4, 2011

'The best thing the government's done since the National Do Not Call Registry'

Wired: Feds are Right to Stop AT&T Merger. Great, systematic debunking of the proposed AT&T/T-Mobile merger.

After years and years of letting big corporations get away with all sorts of appalling shenanigans, from mortgage securitization to insider trading to using Main Street & everyone's 401(k)'s as their own personal gambling funds, it's amazing that something so obviously disastrous actually gets attacked. One of the best quotes of the modern era is from Matt Taibbi: [on Goldman Sachs] "a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money."

The reasons why the AT&T and T-Mobile merger are a bad idea are incredibly obvious. We've already broken up AT&T once (United States vs. AT&T, 1982) and it was a boon to the consumer. I remember going through some old documents of my grandfather and being astounded at the cost of the old telephone bill. It was like inflation never happened.

The modern AT&T incarnation sucks as a phone carrier. It's terrible at innovation. AT&T iPhone users hopped to the competition at the first opportunity.

The only thing AT&T does well is bribe politicians. They are the largest corporate donor to campaigns since 1990. They really don't care which party they bribe, either (45/55 Dem/GOP split). They're equal opportunity enticers. Hell, they'll even bribe state politicians (Thanks again, Bobby and the notoriously corrupt Louisiana Public Service Commission). Companies like AT&T are the reason establishment politicians (whether they are Boehner or Dianne Feinstein) suck. Americans of all political persuasions HATE huge, unresponsive corporations. And people wonder how we get to "too big to fail..."

And I'll close with a quote from the Wired article I really like:

AT&T is the single largest corporate donor to politicians and it’s used to getting its way.


This go round, the Justice Department is realizing that what’s good for AT&T isn’t often what’s good for Americans — no matter how many lobbyists and political donations Ma Bell can afford.

UPDATE- Here's the dinner and drinks menu for the wining and dining of lawmakers the bastards at AT&T are trying. $52 steaks and cucumber martini's...

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