AT&T is asking Congress for a national net neutrality law as it continues to push for permission to purchase Time Warner for $85 billion. The carrier took its net neutrality message to the nation on January 24 with full-page ads in national newspapers calling for an internet bill of rights. (More on AT&T’s internet bill of rights campaign.)
The move comes as AT&T’s effort to buy Time Warner appears to be moving forward. The Justice Department has taken AT&T to court in an effort to block the deal, and this week the federal judge overseeing that case showed a readiness to hear one of AT&T’s key arguments.
AT&T is expected to argue that the deal will not enable it to charge competing network providers higher prices for content. One way to find out if that argument holds water is to review pricing data charged by competitors who have bought content providers. (Comcast, for example, bought NBC in 2011.)
The Justice Department has the data AT&T wants to review because it has requested it from various content providers and cable network operators. This week, Federal Judge Richard Leon ordered the department to ask those companies for permission to share the data with the lawyers representing AT&T and Time Warner.
AT&T’s lawyers want to review data from cable providers Comcast, Charter, Cox and Altice USA, as well as from a handful of content providers like Disney and Viacom.
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