National Black Church Initiative Supports Justice Department’s Decision to Sue AT&T Over Merger With Time Warner

NBCI will file a friend of the court brief supporting the DOJ’s position

Washington DC – The National Black Church Initiative (NBCI) a faith-based coalition of 34,000 churches comprised of 15 denominations and 15.7 million African Americans, supports the Department of Justice’s decision to sue AT&T over their merger with Time Warner Cable Inc.

NBCI has been opposed to this merger from the beginning when they announced they would merge with DirectTV and we have stated that many times over the years. From as early as April of 2015, we had written a Press Release entitled, NBCI’s 34,000 Black Churches Say NO To The AT&T-­Direct TV Merger [i], and most recently in January we wrote another 34,000 Black Churches of the National Black Church Initiative Join With President Trump To Oppose The AT&T-Time Warner Merger [ii]. On October 16th of this year we officially launched a nationwide boycott against AT&T Inc. [iii]

Rev. Anthony Evans, President of the National Black Church Initiative says, “We have been opposed to this deal from the beginning because the consumer will get stuck with paying back the 85 billion dollars that AT&T is spending to merge with Time Warner. This allows AT&T to monopolize the flow of information both on the content side and on the internet side. We cannot have any company having that much control over 300 million American lives. In addition, like Wells Fargo, they have proven unworthy to ethically police themselves because of the $110,000,000.00 fine imposed on them for stealing from their customers. 5 million of NBCI’s members were affected by AT&T’s theft scandal. This is why we will take the unusual step and file a friend of the court brief, supporting the Justice Department’s position to stop this merger. Our 15.7 million members are not going to have to spend a third of their income just for television, internet and phone services. This is morally outrageous. We will fight this to its bitter end.”

The U.S. Justice Department is encouraging AT&T Inc. to address antitrust officials’ concerns about the $85.4 billion acquisition of Time Warner Inc. before the Nov. 23 Thanksgiving holiday or face a lawsuit to block the deal, people familiar with the matter said.

The Justice Department wants to keep AT&T, the biggest U.S. satellite-TV provider, from gaining Time Warner cable networks like TNT and CNN and then withholding their programming from competitors such as Comcast Corp., the people said. AT&T has said it has no incentive to do that.

However, the Justice Department prefers that AT&T either sell Time Warner’s Turner division, which owns TNT and CNN, or divest its DirecTV satellite unit to address the issue. The question is: do we want to give such concentrated power to one company to control content, pricing, and access? Our aim is to safeguard our members and ensure that companies do not take advantage of them.

About NBCI
The National Black Church Initiative (NBCI) is a coalition of 34,000 African American and Latino Churches working to eradicate racial disparities in healthcare, technology, education, housing, and the environment. NBCI’s mission is to provide critical wellness information to all its members, congregants, Churches and the public. Our methodology is utilizing faith and sound health science.

NBCI’s purpose is to partner with major organizations and officials whose main mission is to reduce racial disparities in the variety of areas cited above. NBCI offers faith-based, out-of-the-box and cutting-edge solutions to stubborn economic and social issues. NBCI’s programs are governed by credible statistical analysis, science based strategies and techniques, and methods that work. Visit our website at www.naltBlackChurch.com.