When, in his farewell address in 1961, President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned of the dangers of the “unwarranted influence” wielded by the “military-industrial complex,” he could never have dreamed of an arms-making corporation of the size and political clout of Lockheed Martin. In a good year, it now receives up to $50 billion in government contracts, a sum larger than the operating budget of the State Department. And now it’s about to have company. Raytheon, already one of the top five U.S. defense contractors, is planning to merge with United Technologies.
WASHINGTON - Today, reports indicate that the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division has recommended the agency move to block the T-Mobile-Sprint merger. The reports follow Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai’s recent announcement of his recommended approval of the merger. If approved by both the DOJ and the FCC, the number of national wireless carriers would be reduced from four to three, leading to less competition and higher prices for consumers. Low-income and marginalized communities who disproportionately rely on T-Mobile and Sprint for affordable services may also find themselves priced out of wireless service.
Today Ajit Pai, the former Verizon lawyer turned least popular FCC chairman in history, announced his support for the T-Mobile / Sprint mega merger. The $26.5 billion deal has faced widespread opposition from Internet freedom, labor, civil rights, and consumer groups. It would reduce the number of national wireless carriers from four to three, leading to higher prices and worse plans, with the biggest impact felt by low income people and communities of color.
WASHINGTON — On Monday, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai announced that he would circulate an order designating the Sinclair Broadcast Group’s acquisition of Tribune Media for an administrative hearing at the agency. Pai’s statement suggests that at least the divestitures Sinclair has proposed would be sent to a hearing because, in the chairman’s words, the “evidence we’ve received suggests that certain station divestitures that have been proposed to the FCC would allow Sinclair to control those stations in practice, even if not in name, in violation of the law.” In 2017, Sinclair announced a proposal to take over Tribune Media’s television stations, a merger that as originally proposed would have given the broadcast giant control of more than 233 local TV stations reaching 72 percent of the country’s population, far in excess of congressional and FCC limits on national and local media ownership.
Two new studies from Europe have found that the number of farm birds in France has crashed by a third in just 15 years, with some species being almost eradicated. The collapse in the bird population mirrors the discovery last October that over three quarters of all flying insects in Germany have vanished in just three decades. Insects are the staple food source of birds, the pollinators of fruits, and the aerators of the soil. The chief suspect in this mass extinction is the aggressive use of neonicotinoid pesticides, particularly imidacloprid and clothianidin, both made by German-based chemical giant Bayer. These pesticides, along with toxic glyphosate herbicides (Roundup), have delivered a one-two punch against Monarch butterflies, honeybees and birds.
By Aaron Mate for The Real News. It's The Real News. I'm Aaron Maté. In what is being called the biggest merger in the history of the health insurance industry, CVS is reportedly making a $66 billion bid to buy Aetna. CVS operates pharmacies all over the country, while Aetna sells health insurance policies. Now, the cost of both pharmaceutical drugs and health insurance plans are already sky high, so could a merger of these two giants make those prices even higher? Joining me is Bill Black, associate professor of economics and law at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. Welcome, Bill. So, your thoughts on this potential merger.
By Craig Aaron for Bill Moyers and Company - After AT&T announced its plans last Saturday to take over Time Warner in a multibazillion-dollar merger, a strange thing happened. Well, a bunch of strange things. First, Donald Trump unexpectedly blasted the merger, saying it was “a deal we will not approve in my administration because it’s too much concentration of power in the hands of too few.” Then journalists started asking hard questions about a media merger on national television, a rare sight.
By Candace Clement for Free Press - AT&T is an enormous media, telecom and internet gatekeeper with a horrible track record of overcharging you, limiting your choices and spying on you. It’s still fighting Net Neutrality. It helps the government spy on people by turning over its customer records to the NSA. It tries to stop communities from building their own broadband networks.
By Timothy Karr for Free Press - WASHINGTON — According to several news reports, the Federal Communications Commission has voted to approve Charter Communications’ $90 billion takeover of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks. The merger combines the nation’s second-, third- and sixth-largest cable-TV and Internet providers. After the merger closes, two Internet service providers, Charter and Comcast, will control nearly two-thirds of the nation’s high-speed Internet subscribers.
By Joseph Torres and Steven Renderos for Free Press - The broadband marketplace isn’t just broken; it’s harming millions of our society’s most vulnerable members, who are unable to afford at-home broadband service. This comes at a time when having Internet access is essential to filling out a job application, completing homework or applying for government services. A recent Pew Research Center report found that U.S. broadband-adoption rates among adults dropped from 70 percent in 2013 to 67 percent in 2015. The numbers are even more dismal among communities of color: Adoption plummeted from 62 percent to 54 percent for Black households and from 56 percent to 50 percent for Latino homes.