The Parents Television Council issued a statement in response to the news that AT&T is purchasing Time Warner Inc., for $85.4 billion.
“AT&T’s purchase of Time Warner will create an entertainment behemoth, and no doubt the corporate spin-masters will emphasize benefits to consumers. But if history is our guide, this merger should be of great concern to families. Conditions must be put in place that open the door to more choice for families and other cable consumers. We urge the FCC and DOJ to carefully review this merger and only give approval if the deal creates more unbundling options,” said PTC President Tim Winter.
“Consumers should have more control over what cable networks they want to purchase – period. With AT&T taking over premium cable network HBO, it becomes even more crucial that consumers aren’t forced to pay for networks they may not watch or want. When XM and Sirius planned to merge, a key condition for regulatory approval was their commitment to allow subscribers to opt out of explicit content. A similar condition should apply here.
“We hope that AT&T’s purchase of Time Warner can increase choice for consumers, just as the merger is poised to change the entire media landscape.”