The Merger Tsunami is Drowning Competition in the Communications Marketplace

The recent wave of proposed mergers in the telecommunications industry — SBC attempting to gobble up AT&T, and Verizon trying to swallow MCI — mark the ultimate demise of the era in which consumers could expect more and more choices and lower prices for local, long distance, wireless, and new Internet-based services exploding on the market. The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) and Consumers Union believe that the drumbeat of consolidation and ill-conceived regulatory policies have already undermined consumers’ greatest hopes for ongoing and expanding competition. If not rejected or dramatically altered, these mergers could set the marketplace back to a world more akin to monopoly than competition.