When the DoJ greenlit the merger of AT&T and Time-Warner, they blessed a union that would see one of technology's most notorious monopolists get even bigger, with the presumption that scaling up to unimaginable size would curb a terrible company's worst abuses.
No such luck.
Every AT&T customer pays a small monthly charge for an "Administrative Fee," a made up thing that is described by AT&T as covering the normal business expenses (interchange, cell site rentals, etc) that they have no business recouping from customers separately from the base cost of service.
AT&T has slowly ratcheted up this fee, raising it from $0.76/line/month to $1.99/line/month over the course of less than a year. This raise will net the company $800,000,000, transferred from the pockets of American telcoms users (that is, everyone who wants to participate in modern public life) to this huge, surveillance-complicit monopoly.
The new revenue will give AT&T the capital it needs to raise $10 billion in debt to allow it to buy more of its competitors, which a Trump DoJ will greenlight.
On the other hand, I'm pretty sure that President Elizabeth Warren's DoJ boss would wipe their ass with such a proposal. Something to think about over the next couple years.
AT&T is screwing customers by almost tripling a bogus fee [David Ruddock/Android Police]
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