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<?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Washington, D.C., May 13, 2005—In comments submitted to the Federal Communications Commission this week, the Competitive Enterprise Institute urged quick approval of the proposed mergers between SBC and AT&T, and Verizon and MCI. The comments are available at www.cei.org/pdf/4540.pdf  and www.cei.org/pdf/4539.pdf .
“These mergers will result in significant public interest benefits,” said Braden Cox, technology counsel at CEI and author of CEI’s comments to the FCC. “The nature of the technology sector, with its rapid and constant development, along with an environment where cable, telephone, and wireless companies all compete against each other, will help ensure competition in the telecommunications industry. These mergers are a natural progression of a communications market working for consumers.”
CEI believes regulators need to reassess the role of antitrust in the modern tech world and allow the marketplace to guide the future of the tech industry. “The acquisitions of AT&T and MCI by SBC and Verizon have stoked unwarranted fears of market domination,” said Cox, “while ignoring the fact that the various forms of content delivered over multiple and competing communications networks guarantees that the merged entities will face a competitive marketplace.”
Cox also warned that opponents of the mergers who fear market domination “are succumbing to rhetoric of the past that could prevent consumers from receiving the benefits of competing networks of the future.”