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AT&T Jacks Up TV Prices Again After Merger, Despite Promise


 


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 6 days ago '16        #1
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AT&T Jacks Up TV Prices Again After Merger, Despite Promise
 

 
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With the ink barely dry on AT&T’s $86 billion merger with Time Warner, the company keeps imposing price hikes on the company’s streaming and satellite TV subscribers. Price hikes AT&T executives repeatedly insisted wouldn’t happen.

Cordcutter News was the first to report this week that AT&T will be scrapping its existing $40 per month DirecTV Now streaming video plan, replacing it with two new, more expensive options: a $50 per month and a $70 per month plan. The price increase comes on the heels of another $5 hike imposed on the streaming platform less than a year ago.

In a bid to calm subscriber annoyance, AT&T will be throwing in an HBO subscription as standard on both tiers. AT&T had previously sold standalone HBO for as little as $5 per month.

Still, the move eliminates the option to subscribe to lower cost introductory options that don’t include the “premium” cable channel. All told, AT&T’s base streaming tier has now seen a $15 per month increase in less than eight months’ time.

AT&T’s also been raising rates on its DirecTV satellite TV customers. The company just informed those subscribers they too would be seeing a bevy of price hikes in 2019, including a hike in the company’s “broadcast TV fee”—a controversial surcharge critics say lets cable companies advertise one rate, then charge customers significantly more.

AT&T competitors are also facing higher costs. Shortly after the Time Warner merger closed, Dish Network dropped HBO from its channel lineup, saying AT&T was suddenly charging significantly more money than Dish felt the channel was worth.

The Department of Justice sued to stop the deal, warning repeatedly that AT&T’s megadeals would drive up consumer costs. Yet before, during, and after the merger trial, AT&T repeatedly proclaimed this wouldn’t happen. The TV market was so competitive, lawyers insisted, AT&T couldn’t possibly raise rates on consumers.

“The evidence overwhelmingly showed that this merger is likely to enhance competition substantially, because it will enable the merged company to reduce prices, offer innovative video products, and compete more effectively against the increasingly powerful, vertically integrated 'FAANG' [Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Google] companies," AT&T stated in a post-trial brief.

The DOJ repeatedly warned in government filings that all of its economic models clearly showed price hikes would be inevitable if the merger was allowed to proceed. AT&T quickly dismissed those claims.

“There is no sound evidence from which the court could fairly conclude that retail pay-TV prices are likely to increase," AT&T said in the wake of the trial. The Dallas-based telecom giant insisted that “merger efficiencies will begin exerting downward pressure on consumer prices almost immediately” post merger.

Obviously that didn’t happen. AT&T didn’t respond to a Motherboard request for comment seeking an explanation.

Lobbyist erosion of government antitrust authority has left government lawyers often incapable of proving even the most obvious of harms. Experts continue to point out that antitrust enforcement needs to be modernized for the internet-connected era. But again, industries happy with the broken status quo lobby relentlessly to prevent that from happening.

These problems were made evident when the DOJ’s lawsuit against AT&T fell flat on its face during both the initial trial and the government’s appeal.

Court rulings allowing the merger to stand were widely ridiculed for failing to see AT&T’s plan to use its control over both the content and the conduit (broadband) to harm competitors. The DOJ was similarly criticized for trying to make its case without mentioning net neutrality, or the way AT&T often uses its power as an ISP to disadvantage streaming operators like Netflix.

Ironically however, AT&T’s strategy hasn’t been working all that well. The DirecTV and Time Warner mergers loaded AT&T with so much debt, it feels compelled to raise rates to get its head above water. In response to the rate hikes, AT&T has been losing both satellite TV and streaming video subscribers in record numbers over the last few quarters.

“The DirecTV Now price increases seem like an acknowledgement that their OTT strategy doesn’t make sense,” Wall Street telecom analyst Craig Moffett told Motherboard in an email exchange. “They’re hemorrhaging high value satellite subscribers and replacing them with money losing DirecTV Now subscribers.”

Moffet argues that while the price hikes might balance the scales in the short term, it’s not going to fix AT&T’s underlying problems over the long run as satellite TV becomes a relic, and those customers continue to flee to cheaper, better streaming alternatives.

“The real issue is that DirecTV’s satellite business is falling apart,” Moffett said. “Raising prices might help the numbers look better for a little while, but when your customers are already fleeing because your prices are too high, raising prices is only going to make the business unravel even faster.”

In other words, AT&T’s megamergers aren’t providing any of the “synergies” AT&T promised, and as it tries to claw out from underneath its merger debt load, it’s AT&T customers (and employees) that will ultimately pay the price.

visit this link https://motherboard.vice. .. wouldnt-happen
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26 comments for "AT&T Jacks Up TV Prices Again After Merger, Despite Promise"

 6 days ago '05        #2
cbsepts 1 heat pts
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i know many of you cant do with out it....but i stopped watching tv.....

fu*k cable fu*k these companies.....

i know they're coming after the internet next....they'll be raising those prices soon
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 6 days ago '06        #3
xastey 24 heat pts24
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 cbsepts said
i know many of you cant do with out it....but i stopped watching tv.....

fu*k cable fu*k these companies.....

i know they're coming after the internet next....they'll be raising those prices soon
I watch maybe 3 shows a season.. the rest of our TV use is due to kids and wife with all her housewife shows and what not.

Thing is I don't even watch the damn shows I do watch when they air lol so I have no problem torrenting for eps with a VPN.

One day I'll be able to drop tv but at&t has higher prices and bandwidth limits if you just go with internet only.
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 6 days ago '06        #4
"SS" 32 heat pts32
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I've found i watch more YouTube than traditional tv...movies and the few shows i actually watch i have no problem finding. fu*k cable
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 6 days ago '10        #5
jhust4ever 33 heat pts33
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Cable bill lol
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 6 days ago '04        #6
term0il 
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This only way i see they get a return on that that 86 billi... They are pushing the hell out of those directtv packages too.

Havent had cable for like 3 yrs. But have internet thru att, hope they don't hike that

 6 days ago '15        #7
Fantastic 3 heat pts
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Same sh*t will happen if theres only 3 major cell phone companies.
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 6 days ago '10        #8
JKO 2 heat pts
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If you have directv, call and ask for the customer loyality dept.

I told them I wanted to cancel and they upgraded me to the ultimate package, free HBO and Starz. Still keeping my 4 genie boxes....all for $45/month for 12 months
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 6 days ago '06        #9
KornerBoy 
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 JKO said
If you have directv, call and ask for the customer loyality dept.

I told them I wanted to cancel and they upgraded me to the ultimate package, free HBO and Starz. Still keeping my 4 genie boxes....all for $45/month for 12 months
Damn!!!

 6 days ago '16        #10
BlueGold 13 heat pts13
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I just bought the iPhone straight up without a plan. Then I just bought the $55 Unlimited Pre-Pay plan

No data limit or slowdown of internet
Unlimited calls & text

fu*k paying 100+ a month for a phone bill

I know people who are paying $200-$300
fu*k dat
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 6 days ago '04        #11
jsmooth-117 14 heat pts14
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Oh no, a fortune 109 company with shareholders did something in the interest of profitability, what is the world coming, to.
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 6 days ago '18        #12
BlackjesuS 
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 JKO said
If you have directv, call and ask for the customer loyality dept.

I told them I wanted to cancel and they upgraded me to the ultimate package, free HBO and Starz. Still keeping my 4 genie boxes....all for $45/month for 12 months
They lied to you homie...I work for att....4 boxes on ultimate is 76 for new customers...free movies will be for 3 months max....I deal with these please don't question me just call tmmrw and get it fixed
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 6 days ago '18        #13
BlackjesuS 
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 BlueGold said
I just bought the iPhone straight up without a plan. Then I just bought the $55 Unlimited Pre-Pay plan

No data limit or slowdown of internet
Unlimited calls & text

fu*k paying 100+ a month for a phone bill

I know people who are paying $200-$300
fu*k dat

I have a decent credit score...I pay 65 a month for TMobile and a new phone that I'm getting at cost

 6 days ago '18        #14
BlackjesuS 
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 KornerBoy said
Damn!!!

He got spent...don't believe

 5 days ago '05        #15
cbsepts 1 heat pts
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 xastey said
I watch maybe 3 shows a season.. the rest of our TV use is due to kids and wife with all her housewife shows and what not.

Thing is I don't even watch the damn shows I do watch when they air lol so I have no problem torrenting for eps with a VPN.

One day I'll be able to drop tv but at&t has higher prices and bandwidth limits if you just go with internet only.
yep....thats how they get you....youre almost forced to buy their tv platform

 5 days ago '14        #16
rashadd 
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I just have directv now and no surprise being the greedy company they are. I watch very minimal TV so I wanted to pay a minimum price to do so.

Was reading an article that said in their price for directv now has increased 40% over the past year or 2. Guess I'll support another streaming app to keep the market competitive. Only reason I chose directv ove Vue was the channels were better...


...

 5 days ago '09        #17
wettems35 
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 BlackjesuS said
They lied to you homie...I work for att....4 boxes on ultimate is 76 for new customers...free movies will be for 3 months max....I deal with these please don't question me just call tmmrw and get it fixed
For real. The select package used to be 40 when I worked there. And the 4 boxes included at no extra cost sh*t ended like a year and half ago. Those phone representatives be lying like a muthafu*ka lol

 5 days ago '18        #18
BlackjesuS 
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Okay cheat code...sign up for DirecTV...pay the taxes to start account....have them schedule you for 2 weeks in the future....then keep calling back to reschedule saying your move is postponed or something ..you'll have a dtv acct number that you can stream online with indef.

 5 days ago '06        #19
Sir Mike 13 heat pts13
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Don't watch tv


Go do something productive like post on boxden

 5 days ago '10        #20
JKO 2 heat pts
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 BlackjesuS said
They lied to you homie...I work for att....4 boxes on ultimate is 76 for new customers...free movies will be for 3 months max....I deal with these please don't question me just call tmmrw and get it fixed
@ @


[pic - click to view]



[pic - click to view]



and I got a $15 credit for the new remote today.
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 5 days ago '18        #21
BlackjesuS 
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 JKO said
@ @


[pic - click to view]



[pic - click to view]



and I got a $15 credit for the new remote today.
First off...I'm not mad at you if you got the deal... Holla at me in 3 months cause they are giving you all the services for the cost of the boxes...watch that bill...I just got done listening to this isn't what I was told or what reflects on my bill isn't the same for 8 hrs
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 5 days ago '04        #22
youngsiz 5 heat pts
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 Fantastic said
Same sh*t will happen if theres only 3 major cell phone companies.
But cell phones are different because you have regional and national cell phone markets still like Metro for example just every where in the past two years. The anti roaming laws made that possible we all using the same towers

 4 days ago '15        #23
Fantastic 3 heat pts
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 youngsiz said
But cell phones are different because you have regional and national cell phone markets still like Metro for example just every where in the past two years. The anti roaming laws made that possible we all using the same towers
Tmobile owns metro. All those prepaid are leased by the top 4.

 4 days ago '04        #24
youngsiz 5 heat pts
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 Fantastic said
Tmobile owns metro. All those prepaid are leased by the top 4.
Which further proves that them combining wouldn’t stop competition and the reason why cell phones are different when it comes to mergers

 2 days ago '10        #25
GBREEZE 278 heat pts278
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I haven't had cable TV in over 7 years.....

Yall n*ggas lost
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