Would AT&T abuse monopoly powers?

(via The Consumerist)

We all believe the break-up of Ma Bell was bad, don’t we?  I mean, this is a company that would never, ever, ever even consider abusing monopoly powers, right?  Or maybe they would.

It’s bad enough that they overcharge domestic customers but we have alternatives.  The soldiers don’t because, according to The Prepaid Press, AT&T has an EXCLUSIVE contract to put payphones in PBXes in Iraq and Afghanistan. But, you ask, can’t the soldiers get cheap calling cards to call the US? No! Because AT&T is using (abusing!) its position as monopoly supplier of payphones to block the 800 numbers necessary to use nonAT&T calling cards.

. . .

The soldiers could probably call cheaper if they used Iraqi pay phones.  But, assuming there are any working payphones on the streets of Iraq, it’s still not a good idea for American soldiers to be standing on the corners talking on them.  That’s why there are phones in PBXes.  Too bad the soldiers have to pay $.21/minute to call home on them.

The wholesale rate for calls to the US is less than one cent a minute.

I don’t think much of a company taking advantage of soldiers.  They have it tough enough over there already.  Let’s not rape them on calls back home, OK?

[tags]AT&T, monopoly powers[/tags]