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Petition to Deny AT&T/Bell South Merger

As discussed in greater detail in the Cooper/Roycroft Declaration, the impact of the AT&T-BellSouth merger extends beyond the CLEC market which was the focus of the SBC-AT&T and Verizon MCI mergers. This latest consolidation will create the nation’s largest provider of broadband Internet access facilities, and a new target at which AT&T will take aim with the goal of the elimination of competition—the Internet. While the Internet today provides a limited threat to AT&T from “over-the-top” Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) providers, a more pressing threat, in the view of AT&T, is emerging from alternative providers of video services who rely on the Internet and want to offer video services in competition with AT&T’s planned video service. Thus, if the Commission does not take appropriate action, by either denying this merger, or placing stringent enforceable conditions on the merger, it can look forward to a full-scale attack on competition and innovation in markets for Internet content, services, and applications.