GLAAD Reverses AT&T/T-Mobile Support, Shifting Into Neutral

GLAAD has asked the FCC to pitch its May 31 letter supporting the AT&T/T-Mobile merger, saying it was now neutral on the deal.

In a July 13 letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski and the other commissioners, acting Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation President Mike Thompson, said that after "more rigorous and consultative examination of the relative benefits and drawbacks" of the deal than it had previously done, it wanted the FCC to "update" its records to show it was not neutral on the deal.

He added that its initial support of the merger, which it was not rescinding, should not have been read as a position against network neutrality. "GLAAD is a strong supporter of the general principle of network neutrality," he said.

Thompson said the group remained "appreciative" of AT&T's commitments to equality for lesbian, gay and transgender Americans, including an "excellent" employment policy and support for "community institutions and initiatives." But AT&T's support of GLAAD did not translate into support of the deal on second inspection.

But as Thompson pointed out, many of its "civil rights community" allies have weighed in in support of the deal. Those include the NAACP.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.