Amid a rising tide of angry criticism from both the political right and left, The United States Senate has set a date for a hearing on the proposed merger between AT&T and Time Warner. AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes will appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee’s antitrust subcommittee December 7 to testify about the effects the merger may have, and to address criticisms.
“The hearing will examine the impact of the proposed transaction on consumers, including the implications for competition and innovation in the creation and distribution of video content,” said an official statement on the hearing.
The merger, announced officially on October 22, would if it is approved by the federal government see AT&T acquire Time Warner for at least $80 billion. Time Warner and AT&T have claimed numerous supposed benefits, promising technological innovation and, somewhat paradoxically, greater competition in the two companies’ respective marketplaces. The reaction from consumers and politicians has not been positive however; Senator Bernie Sanders among those urging the Obama administration to kibosh the deal, citing fears of increased prices for consumers and a decrease in consumer choice.
While Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has expressed skepticism about the deal but otherwise has not made it an issue in her campaign, GOP candidate Donald Trump has expressly vowed that if elected, he will move to kill the merger.