In light of AT&T's decision to raise the prices on DirecTV Now subscribers by $10/month, and to drop channels like MTV, Comedy Central, BET, and BBC America (while adding more AT&T-owned content to the bundle), it’s worth reviewing some of what the telecom giant claimed during the recent trial over its merger with Time Warner:
Today, the DC Circuit Court of Appeals allowed the district court's earlier opinion, which permitted the AT&T/Time Warner merger to proceed, to stay in place. Public Knowledge supported the Justice Department’s challenge of the merger.
For the first time in its history, HBO has gone dark during a dispute with a pay TV distributor: DISH Network. HBO is part of WarnerMedia, formerly Time Warner, which is now owned by AT&T, and which also owns DISH rival DirecTV.
Last week was a difficult week for antitrust and consumer rights advocates. On Monday, the net neutrality rules (the ones that kept internet service providers from acting as gatekeepers of the internet) officially went off the books. (We are, of course, fighting to bring them back.) The next day, U.S. District Judge Richard Leon issued a ruling permitting the AT&T/Time Warner mega-merger to proceed, in a lawsuit brought on by the Department of Justice. This ruling was more troubling news for consumers, as well as for the future of online competition.