GTE's Bill Barr on AT&T-Media; One merge

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The following may be attributed to William P. Barr, Executive Vice President and general Counsel for GTE.

An AT&T-Media; One merger will face big trouble. The cable systems that AT&T; has been acquiring are classic monopolies. AT&T;'s attempt to leverage off those monopolies and deny equal access to other Internet service providers is a blatant attempt to lock up access to the Internet as well as the Internet itself. Although the FCC and other regulators have been focused on excessive restrictions on the ability of the telephone companies to compete in the long-distance and Internet markets, this deal will awaken even the most supine regulators to recognize that AT&T; is attempting to reassemble its dominant position right under their noses. I am confident that regulators, Congress, and/or the courts will protect the development of the Internet from the effects of these anti-competitive tactics.


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