T’was AT&T’s Night Before Christmas

This is my little holiday ode to one of our big victories of the year at Free Press. If you like this adaptation, or if you like public media, quality journalism and using the internet (all issues we work on), please consider giving $25 to Free Press (you can choose my name from the menu). Your donation is tax deductible and will be matched dollar for dollar, doubling your gift.

T’was AT&T’s Night Before Christmas

T’was the night before Christmas, and all through DC
Not a lobbyist was stirring, for old AT&T.
They thought that their merger would be wrapped up with a bow
But that just goes to show how little they know.

It all started so smooth, with Jim Cicconi in the lead,
Supporters lined up with remarkable speed,
Filing letters, making statements, it was going so well,
Until people remembered the long history of Ma Bell.

Then the public began to see that something was the matter
And together they made such a wonderful clatter.
They uncovered AT&T’s astroturf scam,
In which they bought support from as many groups as they can.

AT&T promised that they’d bridge the digital divide,
A little white lie to get more support for their side.
But then a memo was leaked that revealed the facts,
Forcing them to scramble to cover their tracks.

Their plan to “mobilize everything” hit a bump in the road
But they weren’t afraid because they had spent a load,
$16 million on lobbyists and $2 million more on campaigns.
But it turns out all that money might have gone down the drain.

Because at the end of summer the DOJ took a stand
And told AT&T to “talk to the hand.”
They asserted this merger just had to be stopped.
Rumor has it Cicconi just about blew his top.

Now public interest groups quickly swung into high gear
Through research, organizing, and education they made clear
That this deal was bad news from the very start
And demanded that the FCC do their part.

AT&T warned us that they’d fight for T-Mo,
All fall you could see their ads wherever you go
They promised more jobs, better service and more,
They’d fix the economy by Christmas they swore.

But when Thanksgiving came, their goose was cooked.
The FCC agreed with Justice that this takeover looked
Too big and too bad to let move ahead,
And many declared that the deal was dead.

AT&T couldn’t believe what had just gone down,
They are used to getting their way in this town.
So they tried to pull out of the FCC’s review
To hide the facts that the agency knew.

But this didn’t stop the FCC from publishing their report,
To which AT&T had little retort,
They sputtered and stuttered and sulked away,
Ending their bid just before Christmas day.

And as the news spread across the tech blogosphere,
The public shouted out with great joy and cheer.
And if you listen close you might hear Copps say,
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good day.


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