Here in the nation's capital, AT&T has painted itself as an underdog that needs to merge with Time Warner in a blockbuster $85 billion deal to compete with powerful cable companies. But in several cities and states, AT&T’s actions send a different message. In Nashville and Louisville, Ky., AT&T has sued to make it harder for rival broadband providers to use utility poles. In Missouri, Tennessee and North Carolina, the company has pushed for laws that block municipal broadband providers. In San Francisco, AT&T has fought efforts to open up apartment buildings to more internet service providers. In other words, AT&T has positioned itself as the incumbent telecommunications juggernaut that has acted to hamper competitors locally. With its giant deal with Time Warner under review at the Justice Department, AT&T’s contrasting federal and local actions are glaring. While AT&T's two-sided messaging follows a strategy used by many big companies, any evidence that the telecom company thwarts local rivals could make the deal review tougher and invite costly conditions, telecom antitrust experts said - even though they still expect the acquisition to be approved.
Full Story | More BCAP Headlines