In the typical push to get big mergers approved, we often see particularly dumb arguments. Sometimes these involve astroturfing attempts or lobbyists signing arguments
for others (or sometimes forging
the letters entirely). And then, sometimes, the companies just get people to push crazy arguments on the off chance that someone might believe them. Take, for example, this absolutely bizarre claim from the executive director of the Texas Rural Education Association, Don Rogers, that allowing AT&T to buy T-Mobile would be good for Texas schools
The proposed merger between AT&T and T-Mobile will be a giant stride toward providing ALL Texas children quality educational opportunities and experiences. Every Texas student, whether they attend school in inner-city Houston or in rural West Texas, should have access to modern technological advancements, including high-speed wireless Internet.
The resources made available by the merger would make high-speed wireless available to many Texans, both rural and urban. This is vitally important for schools in rural Texas that will finally have the ability to access a high-speed wireless broadband network and all it brings.
He doesn't explain much further. He does explain the importance of wireless broadband, which is great, and we agree that there should be more of it, especially for schools. But what does allowing AT&T and T-Mobile to merge have to do with that at all? The real answer is nothing whatsoever. Nothing in the merger will make it any more or less likely that Texas schools will get mobile broadband. But, Rogers is sure of it:
I know of what I speak when I say that Texas--in particular our rural schools--will benefit substantially from this merger. To deny the educational opportunities this merger would provide to students living in rural areas would do our children a disservice. This merger will ensure that every young Texan will be learning and performing to the best of their abilities.
I know of what I speak when I say the above is pure hogwash. Whether or not you think the merger makes sense, it has nothing
whatsoever to do with broadband in schools. And it certainly would not "ensure" that "every young Texan will be learning and performing to the best of their abilities." It's incredibly disingenuous for someone supposedly heavily involved in children's education to suggest that some totally unrelated corporate merger will somehow "ensure" that kids are learning to the best of their abilities.