Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders slammed AT&T's $85 billion proposed acquisition of Time Warner, saying that the merger would create a monopoly and negatively affect the American people.
The merger was driven by a mutual interest of both companies to adapt to a world that increasingly gets its entertainment from the Internet and mobile devices. AT&T's growth in mobile customers has stalled, according to the LA Times, and the mobile provider is facing stiff competition from companies like Sprint, Verizon and T-Mobile. Time Warner, on the other hand, has been facing declining ad revenues as well as cable subscribers for years.
"This deal further solidifies the fact that mobile is king, and content is king," Peter Brack, a former Time Warner executive, told the LA Times.
However, while AT&T and Time Warner may think the merger is the best way to keep their companies afloat, Wall Street executives claim that the financial benefits of such a plan wouldn't be that significant. The newly combined company would start with $175 billion in debt, according to CNN, and many worry that this deal will be as unsuccessful as the Time Warner AOL partnership in 2000.
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As rumors fly about the possible ramifications of such a merger, AT&T and Time Warner stock has dropped two percent and three percent, respectively.
But it's not just Wall Street executives that are questioning the deal. Politicians like Sanders and Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine are lambasting the proposal, saying that a corporate merger would lead to higher prices for consumers.
“The administration should kill the Time Warner/AT&T merger," Sanders tweeted on Oct. 23. "This deal would mean higher prices and fewer choices for the American people."
He's worries that with an entertainment monopoly, AT&T Time Warner would be able to charge customers exorbitant prices for media content.
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Kaine agreed, telling NBC's Chuck Todd that "Less concentration... is generally helpful, especially in the media."
The vice presidential candidate's stance slightly differs from his running mate, Hillary Clinton, who is hesitant to criticize the merger, according to Deadline.
Spokesman Brian Fallon said that Clinton “thinks regulators should scrutinize (the deal) closely," but "there’s still a lot of information that needs to come out before any conclusions should be reached."