No, it doesn’t make any sense that you have to turn off your iPad or Kindle during airplane landings, and now the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission wants to see that change. In a letter to the Federal Aviation Administration, FCC chairman Julius Genachowski urged the agency to “enable greater use of tablets, e-readers, and other portable devices” on flights, The Hill reports. Genachowski went on to say that letting passengers use their devices more during flights is important because “mobile devices are increasingly interwoven in our daily lives” and that they “enable both large and small businesses to be more productive and efficient, helping drive economic growth and boost U.S. competitiveness.”
In response to the U.S. government’s lawsuit against AT&T’s planned $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile, Federal Communications Commission chairman Julius Genachowski issued the following statement on behalf of the FCC :
By filing suit today, the Department of Justice has concluded that AT&T’s acquisition of T-Mobile would substantially lessen competition in violation of the antitrust laws. Competition is an essential component of the FCC’s statutory public interest analysis, and although our process is not complete, the record before this agency also raises serious concerns about the impact of the proposed transaction on competition. Vibrant competition in wireless services is vital to innovation, investment, economic growth and job creation, and to drive our global leadership in mobile. Competition fosters consumer benefits, including more choices, better service and lower prices.
AT&T responded to the DoJ lawsuit earlier and said that it plans to ask for an expedited hearing and is confident that the merger is “in the best interest of the consumers and our country.”
Several advocacy groups have written a letter to the Federal Communications Commission in regards to AT&T’s planned $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile. The letter specifically asks FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski to “convene a series of field hearings around the country to hear from the people who could be most affected by the merger of AT&T and T-Mobile.” The advocacy groups believe that the acquisition would give AT&T nearly control of nearly 80% of the U.S. wireless market and that as such, “prices would rise, jobs would be lost, and innovation would suffer.” AT&T’s CEO Randall Stephenson has argued that the acquisition would result in net job growth. Sprint, one of the deal’s most outspoken opponents, has also said that the purchase would stifle innovation in the U.S. wireless market. The groups that signed the letter include the Consumers Union, Public Knowledge, the Open Technology Initiative of the New America Foundation, the National Hispanic Media Coalition, Future of Music Coalition, Media Access Project, and the Free Press. More →
Speaking to The Wall Street Journal on Thursday, an anonymous Federal Communications Commission official said “there’s no way the chairman’s office [will] rubber-stamp” AT&T’s $39 billion acquisition of Deutsche Telecom-owned T-Mobile USA, and that the approval process will be “a steep climb at least.” The FCC official went on to say that the FCC has not even started to evaluate the deal and that it will be scrutinized and denied or accepted based on whether or not it will be in the best interest of consumers. Similar deals have been doubted before, though, and the WSJ points to the merger between XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Satellite radio, which FCC chairman Kevin Martin said would be a high hurdle to approve back in 2007. Current FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said Tuesday during his speech at the CTIA Wireless 2011 trade show, which we live blogged, that “healthy competition produces greater innovation and investment, lower prices, and better service.” AT&T’s purchase of T-Mobile is seen as likely decreasing the amount of competition in the U.S. wireless market, with just three major carriers competing for customers. But Genachowski has yet to comment on the acquisition proposal. As we said in an earlier editorial, T-Mobile customers could come out on top with this deal — if it ends up being approved. More →