Lawmakers Voice SBC-Ameritech Concerns


A group of U.S. House Democrats from California voiced "serious reservations" about the proposed combination of San Antonio-based SBC Communications Inc. and Chicago-based Ameritech Corp. "We have serious reservations about the potential impact this merger may have on our state," 19 House members wrote in identical letters to the Federal Communications Commission and the Justice Department, which must approve the proposed merger of the two regional telecommunications companies. "Last year, the Department of Justice approved the merger of SBC and Pacific Bell," the Democrats said, referring to the deal that brought SBC into the California local phone market. "Since then, the California Public Utilities Commission has reported a major increase in consumer complaints." The House Democrats said the California Office of Ratepayer Advocate "has reported aggressive efforts to charge consumers more for services." (See related story, D5)

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