Mobile is Becoming the Way Lower Income Users Access the Internet

Reasonable people will disagree about whether specific mergers or acquisitions should be approved, as well as about the merger conditions appropriate when such mergers or acquisitions are deemed reasonable.

What does seem odd and unwise, though, are conditions that mandate specific and high adoption rates of specific services as a condition of an acquisition. One example is a proposed condition specifying that 45 percent of low-income consumers buy a "lifeline" Internet access service from Comcast. 

Service providers cannot guarantee that specific numbers of consumers will buy any specific service. The details of the offer, aside from mandatory buy rates, are reasonable areas for discussion.

But it would be hard to ensure that 45 percent of potential consumers buy any specific products at all, under the best of circumstances. 

There is a growing body of research indicating that the most logical consumers of such a service actually rely on mobile access for Internet service, for example. The point is that mobile access is emerging as the preferred way of using the Internet. 

For that reason, it is possible demand for a lifeline Internet access service could be limited. 
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