One of the most vocal skeptics of industry consolidation, Sen. Al Franken hasn't pulled any punches when it comes to the proposed merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable — a deal that would give Comcast control over roughly 30 percent of the pay-TV market.
Now, the lawmaker is setting his sights on another major deal: AT&T's proposal to acquire DirecTV. In a letter to federal regulators, Franken warns that letting the deal go through could turn AT&T into a gatekeeper to the mobile Internet. Franken also complains that AT&T took inappropriate steps to block Internet applications like Google Voice and Skype.
"AT&T has a history of skirting the spirit, and perhaps the letter" of the government's rules on net neutrality, Franken wrote. Those rules were written in 2010 — and AT&T has pledged to abide by them for three years if its DirecTV purchase goes through — but were knocked down by a federal court in January. Read the rest of the letter below: