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news & opinion with no titillating non-news from the major non-news channels.


I am: progressive, not a wild-eyed Progressive; liberal, but shun liberals and Liberals; conservative, but some Conservatives worry me; absolutely NOT a libertarian. I am: an idealist, but no utopian; a pragmatist, but no Machiavellian. I am a realist who dreams.


I welcome all opinions.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Mergers Promote Competition?:
   An "Independent" speaks out

So sayth the Independent Institute, which has often come under fire for being anything but independent. The fact that they won't even come out and say AT&T had a monopoly in the telephone industry before the Feds broke them up is telling.

"Some could claim that when AT&T had all the land-line telephone business, they had a monopoly in instant two-way communication technology."


The argument presented in the latest edition (Vol. 7, Issue 39; September 26, 2005) of the Lighthouse, the Institute's weekly e-mail newsletter, claims that two telecom mergers currently under review, Verizon and MCI, and SBC and AT&T, are vital if these telecom giants are to compete in "today's communications market (made) far different than that of twenty years ago ... (by) innovations such as e-mail, instant messaging, high-speed wireless communications, and Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP)".

I disagree.

If the intent of the mergers are specifically to compete in the world of IP connectivity, why are these very similar companies merging? If each of the four companies are trying to compete in an industry that has left them behind, why are they not looking for companies that specialize in those new technologies? This is a consolidation of one specific industry, telecom. The proposed mergers do nothing to enhance the abilities of these four giants, except to reduce the competition.

It is true that VoIP has devastated long-distance telecoms, but only because for two decades they wouldn't let go of out-dated market-inefficient pricing strategies . These mergers are a rear guard action by corporations whose actions in the wake of IP telephony were anything but friendly to consumers.

And isn't the whole point of free markets to promote efficiencies that benefit the market?

No, this is all about corporatism and oligarchies, not free-market principles.

Feel free to copy this to any legislature of your choice.

The House website, the Senate website, or Congress.org (a private organization)



Blogger Jay Cline said...

Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy day to contact me via e-mail. Because of the volume and range of e-mails I receive, it can take some time to send a response that specifically addresses the subject raised in your message. I do, however, want to let you know immediately that your message has been received and that a more detailed response will be forthcoming. In the meantime, I hope you will visit my website at http://coleman.senate.gov, to monitor the work I am doing in the Senate.

Norm Coleman
United States Senate

9/28/2005 9:54 AM  
Blogger Jay Cline said...

Thank you for taking the time to contact me in Washington. I appreciate your message. However, due to the large volume of e-mails I receive daily and the variety of issues they address, it may take some time to respond to your concerns. I regret any such delay, and I assure you that you will receive a response in the near future.

Thank you again for taking the time to be in touch with me.

My best regards.


Mark Dayton
United States Senator

9/28/2005 1:34 PM  

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