Matt Wood Skewers the AT&T-DIRECTV Deal on NewsHour

The Wall Street analyst didn’t stand a chance.

He went up against Free Press’ very own Matt Wood on PBS’ NewsHour in a discussion of the AT&T-DIRECTV deal. Though the analyst claimed the merger would serve customers and promote innovation, Wood had the truth on his side: All it would actually do is hurt consumers and diminish competition.

And while the merger’s official price tag is $48.5 billion, the actual cost would be much higher since AT&T would also need to take on DirecTV’s debt. As Wood noted, AT&T could put this money to much better use:

If AT&T would invest this money in providing broadband for more of its existing customers and even expanding broadband offerings, that would be money better spent.

But this deal is actually more like $70 billion once you factor in the debt that AT&T would take on. And for that amount of money, they could basically wire half of the country with fiber. Instead, they are looking for the quick fix and the hit to their bottom line that they get from mergers and the rewards they get to their stock price.

And that’s exactly it — AT&T would rather knock out a competitor than serve its customers. It’s the same thinking that motivated its ill-fated attempt to take over T-Mobile in 2011. We need to push the Federal Communications Commission and the Justice Department to block this merger. The FCC needs policies that foster competition, not consolidation.

Watch the full NewsHour segment here: