The presidential elections haven’t intruded on telecom and internet infrastructure too much, but there was that one moment just a few weeks ago. Before AT&T and Time Warner even officially announced their deal, Donald Trump made an unsolicited declaration of opposition, calling it too much power in too few hands. Now that he has won, should we take that threat seriously?
I’m going to say ‘No’. He can’t focus on everything, and it will be mostly the FCC commissioners that get to do the heavy lifting. Tom Wheeler still has a couple years left on his current term as Chairman, and even if he leaves and gets replaced I highly doubt that as Trump assembles his team he will put someone in that spot who will immediately line up with the Democratic side. More likely he will delegate this one.
Even if he does pay attention and continue where he left off with his opposition to the deal, I think it’s more to me that he treats this as an opportunity to show how he negotiates a better deal through brinkmanship. After all, that’s sort of his thing. All AT&T and Time Warner would have to do is perhaps divest a few things and/or agree to some restrictions, which is of course what they were surely expecting to have to do anyway.
On the other hand, one never knows which way our new President-Elect is going to jump when pressed.
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