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Reassembling Ma Bell's Dominance, Without the Regulation

AP: Reports: AT&T, BellSouth near$65B deal. AT&T is nearing a deal to acquire BellSouth Corp. for $65 billion, according to reports published Sunday. The companies were expected to announce the terms of the deal as soon as Monday, according to reports in the Wall Street Journal and New York Times. Both papers cited unidentified sources, due to the sensitivity of the negotiations.

If this deal goes through — and given the Bush administration’s (and Congress’) willful blindness to the implications of a telecom world dominated by only a few, and soon only a couple, of predatory giants — Verizon will surely buy Qwest. Why wouldn’t they?

We’re moving into troublesome times, where rapacious mega-companies, steeped in monopolistic traditions, assert utter control over our communications. If you think they won’t use their market power to stifle innovation they don’t control (or from which they get a cut of any action) you don’t study history.

What can average folks do? Complain to Congress, of course. Sadly, this has less and less effect in a political system that is increasingly of, by and for the wealthy and powerful.

It can’t hurt, however, to raise your voice.

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