LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A hearing on a proposed merger between two the nation’s biggest phone companies is expected to draw a big turnout on Thursday.
The California Public Utilities Commission will hold a public hearing on a proposal to merge AT&T with T-Mobile, a venture that opponents warn could stifle competition in the telecom business.
Amalia Deloney with the Center For Media Justice told KNX 1070 the whole proposal is nothing more than a power grab.
“It’s AT&T trying to take over T-Mobile, and that’s part of the problem,” said Deloney. “We can’t afford this merger.”
Deloney said customers of both companies could be facing rate increases between $15 and $50 per month if the merger is approved.
The Senate’s top antitrust lawmaker, Senator Herb Kohl (D-Wis.), has already voiced his opposition to the deal.
The deal could also disproportionately impact minorities, according to Deloney.
“About 47 percent of T-Mobile customers right now are people of color, and that’s also true in their workforce,” she said.
Thursday’s hearing is only the latest in a plan to get the public’s input on a plan that could hit the wallets of over 120 million wireless subscribers.
A hearing was held in the Bay Area last week, and after today’s hearing at 4 p.m. at the Four Points Sheraton in Culver City, there are at least two more planned in San Diego and Fresno.