|How two decisions in Washington could turn AT&T into a uniquely powerful company By Brian Fung November 22|
washingtonpost.com The future of AT&T could be shaped by two big decisions in Washington this week, with the Justice Department suing the telecom giant on Monday to block its $85 billion purchase of Time Warner and the Federal Communications Commission announcing a plan Tuesday to roll back net neutrality rules, handing a big win to Internet providers.
"Our objective with Time Warner is to take that content and broaden distribution, not to refine and limit distribution," said Stephenson in a press conference Monday. AT&T declined to comment further.
Other analysts say that will be true only until AT&T can find a business case to behave differently.
"The problem from the point of view of DOJ is that if the deal is approved, it will be very hard to police any commitment by AT&T to make sure that [its content is] available to all eyeballs and so on," said Nicholas Economides, a professor of economics at New York University's Stern School of Business. "The record of such commitments is very poor. The companies do whatever they want. And that's well understood by everybody."