The time has come for AT&T to explain to Congress why its acquisition of DirecTV is good for America. Both the Senate and House are holding hearings today at which AT&T is making this case: The Internet and television markets have changed fundamentally in recent years (absolutely true), and so AT&T and DirecTV need to join forces to stand a chance in this brave new world (absolutely debatable).
This deal doesn’t seem likely to inspire the same opposition as Comcast’s attempt to purchase Time Warner Cable or the ongoing debate over net neutrality, among controversial telecommunications issues to pop up so far this year. At the House hearing on Tuesday, most lawmakers seemed amenable to the DirecTV deal. The only clear opposition during the opening remarks came in the form of a generalized weariness—and wariness—from Representative John Conyers (D-Mich.) over the march of consolidation.