Media Matters for America misses the minority consumer welfare argument

A blog post on Media Matters for America’s website spent so much time emphasizing an alleged and tenuous conflict of interest involving Henry Rivera and AT&T that it completely missed the very significant issue of what a failure to approve AT&T’s acquisition of T-Mobile USA would mean to minority access to the Internet.

Pew Research found that while 59% of adult Americans go online via wireless devices, blacks and Latinos are more likely to own a cell phone (87%) versus whites (80%). In addition, 64% of African Americans and 63% of Latinos access the Internet via wireless devices.

This data supports Mr. Rivera’s view that AT&T’s acquisition of T-Mobile should be approved. Since T-Mobile is not in a position to expand its 4G network, blacks and Latinos would not enjoy the benefits of expanded 4g coverage, at least in the short run.