Jul 12, 2012
Thirty-two members of the U.S. House of Representatives signed a letter to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski citing concerns about the proposed Verizon Wireless/Big Cable deal's impact on consumers in their districts and across the country. Read the congressional letter here.
The letter calls on the FCC to make certain that the final agreement follows the requirements of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 and preserves competition.
The current proposal would eliminate competition by allowing the companies to cross-market products, and this would eliminate or prevent the creation of thousands of jobs, deepen the digital divide between cities and wealthy suburbs, reduce consumer choice and raise prices.
The 32 U.S. Representatives who signed on to the letter are: Louise Slaughter (D-NY), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Brian Higgins (D-NY), Robert Andrews (D-NJ), Timothy Bishop (D-NY), Robert Brady (D-PA), Bruce Braley (D-IA), William Lacy Clay (D-MO), Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Donna Edwards (D-MD), Keith Ellison (D-MN), Sam Farr (D-CA), Bob Filner (D-CA), Janice Hahn (D-CA), Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Nita Lowey (D-NY), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Michael Michaud (D-ME), Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Nick Rahall (D-WV), Charles Rangel (D-NY), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), John Sarbanes (D-MD), Janice Schakowsky (D-IL), Jose Serrano (D-NY), Pete Stark (D-CA), Niki Tsongas (D-MA), Nydia Velazquez (D-NY), and Lynn Woolsey (D-CA).
They join other elected officials and community leaders who have been citing serious concerns about the deal.
Earlier this year, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino detailed the economic dangers of the deal for urban areas in comments to the FCC. The Maryland Chapter of the NAACP filed comments explaining how concentrated power in the industry would put poor and minority communities at further economic disadvantage. Nine mayors of cities in New York State signed on to a letter to the Department of Justice and the FCC, expressing concern that the deal would have a devastating impact on their communities. And on June 13, Representatives Edward J. Markey, one of the authors of the 1996 Telecommunications Act, and John Conyers, Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, released a letter calling on the FCC and Department of Justice to scrutinize the deal.