Quote for the Day: “Political Matters”

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On Wednesday, the Obama Justice Department filed an antitrust suit to block AT&T’s merger with T-Mobile. On Thursday, the New York Times reported that the telecom giant was “caught off guard” by the government’s decision to sue. The Times‘ Michael de la Merced interviewed  law professor Susan Crawford for his story on the lawsuit. Here’s what she told him:

“Justice has done a thorough job,” said Susan Crawford, a professor at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. “AT&T’s surprise shows they took this as political matter and not a legal matter.”

Determining whether the AT&T/T-Mobile merger is anti-competitive is a legal matter, however AT&T “took” it. There is a whole body of case law on these sorts of issues and the courts will use that, along with the facts in this particular case, to decide whether the merger violates anti-trust rules. In Crawford’s telling, AT&T execs thought that if they could win the political fight, the law wouldn’t matter. The telecom honchos were wrong, but the fact they convinced themselves that winning the political fight is all they would have to do says a lot about just how much power corporations think they wield (and often do wield) in Washington.

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And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

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