Recently, FMC teamed up with Public Knowledge to file an official Petition to Deny at the Federal Communications Commission regarding the proposed merger between AT&T and T-Mobile. We oppose the merger because we believe that artists’ and music consumers’ interests are best served in by an open market with plenty of competition and widespread access to technology (including high-speed internet). And, since music is becoming increasingly accessed via mobile devices, wireless providers have increased influence over the world of content.
AT&T claims that merging with T-Mobile is the only way to remain competive with Verizon, but we argue otherwise. We believe that AT&T and T-Mobile can compete with Verizon while remaining independent, and that competition would be harmed if the companies were allowed to combine. Consider this: if AT&T 2.0 becomes a reality, then roughly 80 percent of the telecommunications market will be controlled by two players.
Verizon and AT&T would have unprecedented control over data prices, which could affect the kinds of music streaming apps, devices and songs that fans can access. We’ve already seen tremendous innovation around music and “smart” devices like the iPhone and Android, and it’s in pretty much everyone’s interest to see it continue. Currently, millions of people discover new music streaming outlets like Pandora and other unique apps. It seems pretty obvious that the future of music is mobile.
The internet —whether on your computer or your mobile device — is a tremendous tool for musicians and other creative entrepreneurs. Today’s artists can connect directly with fans and collaborate with other musicians across the globe. All of this has has been largely possible because of an internet driven by access and innovation. As we look ahead to an increasingly mobile internet, we want to preserve that dynamic and avoid the stagnation due to high prices and limited options for innovation.
For the official filing, head over here.