Congressional Democrats on Monday revealed a new economic plan, called "A Better Deal," that urges stricter antitrust laws and enforcement, citing AT&T's (T - Get Report) proposed $85.4 billion acquisition of Time Warner (TWX) as an example of a deal that could restrict competition.
"If AT&T succeeds in this deal, it will have more power to restrict the content access of its 135 million wireless and 25.5 million pay-TV subscribers," the Democrats said in their economic plan. "This will only enable the resulting behemoths to promote their own programming, unfairly discriminate against other distributors and their ability to offer highly desired content, and further restrict small businesses from successfully competing in the market."
Although the lawmakers do not explicitly say they are against the tie-up, they mention it in their push for stringent antitrust enforcement. They ask for merger guidelines that take a "broader, longer-term view" and "strong presumptions that market concentration can result in anti-competitive conduct."
The Justice Department is currently evaluating the AT&T-Time Warner merger, but its review is limited to antitrust enforcement.
AT&T's shares fell 0.5% to $36.34 early Monday afternoon. Time Warner's rose 0.8% to $100.25.
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