Archive for the ‘time warner’ Category

AT&T raises DirecTV Now price—again—after promising lower post-merger bills

March 12th, 2019
An AT&T logo on the side of a building.

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | ljhimages)

AT&T is reportedly raising the price of DirecTV Now by $10 a month and notifying current subscribers that they will pay the new, higher price starting in April.

DirecTV Now packages today cost $40 to $75 a month before add-ons such as HBO, and current customers will reportedly pay $10 a month more regardless of which package they subscribe to, making the prices $50 to $85. News reports say AT&T is also reconfiguring its channel packages for new subscribers, adding HBO to basic packages while eliminating dozens of channels that aren't part of the AT&T-owned Time Warner Inc. New customers will reportedly be able to choose from two slimmer plans costing $50 or $70 a month.

The price hike and channel reduction are happening despite AT&T promising that its acquisition of Time Warner would lower prices for customers. When the Department of Justice tried to stop the merger, AT&T told a judge in a May 2018 court filing that the merger "will enable the merged company to reduce prices."

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Posted in AT&T, Biz & IT, directv now, HBO, time warner | Comments (0)

Trump to staff on AT&T/Time Warner merger: “I want that deal blocked!”

March 4th, 2019
President Donald Trump speaking to a crowd.

Enlarge / US President Donald Trump speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland, on Saturday, March 2, 2019. (credit: Getty Images | Bloomberg)

President Donald Trump tried to pressure the Department of Justice into blocking AT&T's acquisition of Time Warner Inc., according to a new report by The New Yorker. However, White House staff apparently ignored the president's orders to pressure the DOJ, and it's not clear whether Trump ever made any demands to the DOJ directly.

The New Yorker report—titled "The Making of the Fox News White House"—details Trump's close relationship with Fox and his disdain for Fox competitors that provide less-glowing news coverage of his presidency.

Trump has long made his hatred of CNN well-known, and during his campaign he promised to block AT&T's proposed takeover of CNN owner Time Warner. The Trump administration's DOJ in November 2017 filed a lawsuit to block AT&T's proposed acquisition of Time Warner. But whether Trump had intervened wasn't clear—AT&T ultimately succeeded in court and completed the merger, despite failing in an attempt to prove that Trump meddled in the merger review.

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Posted in AT&T, DOJ, Policy, time warner, Trump | Comments (0)

Appeals court rejects government bid to reverse AT&T/Time Warner deal

February 26th, 2019
Appeals court rejects government bid to reverse AT&T/Time Warner deal

Enlarge (credit: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images)

A federal appeals court has upheld AT&T's acquisition of Time Warner, dealing a blow to Trump administration lawyers who had tried to stop the deal.

The Trump administration sued to stop the deal back in 2017, arguing that having AT&T as a corporate parent would give Time Warner too much leverage in negotiations with other cable and satellite network providers. A trial judge, Richard Leon, rejected that argument last June. Now his ruling has been upheld by the DC Circuit Appeals Court.

Media conglomerates like Time Warner engage in periodic negotiations with distributors like Comcast and AT&T. In these negotiations, each party threatens to end their relationship if they don't get favorable financial terms. But each party also has an incentive not to take too hard a line because failing to reach an agreement could mean a content blackout that's expensive for both sides.

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