- The Washington Times - Monday, May 19, 2014

The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee raised alarms Monday about the proposed mega-merger of AT&T and DirecTV, saying the panel will be “looking closely at this transaction.”

“With this latest proposed merger, I am concerned that the telecommunications marketplace is trending even further toward one that favors big companies over consumers,” warned the chairman, Sen. Patrick Leahy, Vermont Democrat.

He’s not the only one.

The House Judiciary Committee ordered hearings on the deal within hours of the announcement Sunday that AT&T planned to buy DirecTV for $48.5 billion.

Similar hearings were held when Comcast announced a merger with Time Warner Cable in February.

Sen. Al Franken, Minnesota Democrat and member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said the AT&T purchase of DirecTV, the biggest U.S. satellite TV provided, showed that the telecom industry was “going exactly in the wrong direction.”

“The fewer players there are in this space, I believe it’s worse for consumers. My constituents in Minnesota will be paying more for cable,” Mr. Franken said Monday on CNN’s “New Day.”

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