Mergers are going to kill the Internet

From FFTF:

Comcast just announced a $65 billion bid to buy 21st Century Fox. This comes just days after a federal judge approved the mega-merger of AT&T and Time Warner.1

This. Is. Terrifying. Two of the biggest and most powerful ISPs in the country will now own both content and the way we view that content.

And between the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality and the federal courts giving a green light to these kinds of mega-mergers, we can expect that this is only the beginning of an unprecedented corporate consolidation of the Internet.

The Internet has never been in such grave danger, and we need to redouble our efforts to convince Congress to overturn the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality. Will you chip in?

With the merger of AT&T and Time Warner, a single mega-corporation now controls AT&T’s massive ISP network, DirecTV, and all of Time Warner’s media companies, including HBO, TNT, CNN, and Warner Brothers.

AT&T is one of the few broadband Internet providers in many areas, and without net neutrality in place, it will have the power to force millions of Americans to consume their content while small startups, grassroots voices, and corporate competitors can be throttled or blocked.

Here’s a peek into the future: Have AT&T Internet and want to watch Netflix? Sorry, you can only watch HBO unless you want to pay more extra fees. And PBS is so slow to load that you may as well forget about it.

Comcast’s bid to buy 21st Century Fox will create another massive monopoly.2 Comcast subscribers who want to stream ESPN and Amazon Prime may soon be limited to Fox Sports and Hulu.

Without net neutrality, there’s nothing to prevent those kinds of abuses, and it’s only a matter of time before that’s what starts happening. We know that because these companies have a long track record of violating net neutrality. In fact, about one-third of America can only buy Internet service from Big Cable companies who have violated net neutrality.3

If we’re to have any defense against Big Cable’s takeover, it’s vital that we convince Congress to pass the CRA overturning the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality.

We’ve ramped up our Battle for the Net campaign to get the votes we need to pass the CRA in Congress. Will you chip in?

These mergers really illuminate the ways that your ISP can screw you over without net neutrality rules in place. But this isn’t just a consumer issue. A free and open Internet is essential for a functioning democracy.

There’s so much going on in the world right now, but every issue that we care about will be impacted by this fight over the future of the Internet.

So please, chip in to make sure we have the resources we need to win this fight.

For freedom,

-Evan at Fight for the Future

Footnotes:

  1. CNBC: https://www.cnbc.com/2018/06/12/att-time-warner-ruling.html

2. Axios: https://www.axios.com/with-net-neutrality-gone-and-mergers-galore-its-a-new-Internet-e65de47f-7fbf-4104-83fe-a086401f98aa.html

3. Vice: https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/bjdjd4/100-million-americans-only-have-one-isp-option-Internet-broadband-net-neutrality

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