Newsletters
News & Information for Technology Purchasers NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
This ad will display for the next 20 seconds. Click for more information, or
Home Enterprise I.T. Cloud Computing Applications Hardware More Topics...
Cloud Computing
Gartner's #1 for endpoint backup
Average Rating:
Rate this article:  
AT&T Says DirecTV Deal Could Slow Price Hikes

AT&T Says DirecTV Deal Could Slow Price Hikes
By Peter Svennsson

Share
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Share on Google Plus

Speaking to two Congressional committees, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson defended AT&T's $48.5 billion deal to buy DirecTV, the country's largest satellite TV broadcaster. Stephenson said pay-TV costs are rising because of programming costs driven by TV studios and sports networks, and said he couldn't promise a decline in prices.
 



AT&T's CEO told Congress Tuesday that his company's purchase of DirecTV will help slow increases in programming prices, but won't lead to a decrease in prices.

CEO Randall Stephenson spoke to two Congressional committees to defend AT&T's $48.5 billion deal to buy the country's largest satellite TV broadcaster.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Connecticut Democrat, pressed Stephenson on the cost issue at a hearing of the Senate Commission of the Judiciary.

Stephenson said pay-TV costs are rising because of programming costs driven by TV studios and sports networks, and said he couldn't promise a decline in prices.

AT&T has its own pay-TV service, with 5.7 million subscribers. A big part of the reason it wants to link up with DirecTV, which has 20 million subscribers, is to gain access to programming at lower rates, thanks to greater volume.

Public-interest groups say the deal would lead to less competition, since AT&T and DirecTV compete in providing pay-TV services to about 25 percent of the country.

Michael White, CEO of DirecTV, said that should be weighed against the 75 percent of the country where AT&T and DirecTV don't compete, and both can offer stronger "bundles" of wireless and pay-TV services.

"You have to look at the plusses and the minuses," White told the Senate committee.

Both executives were questioned earlier Tuesday by the House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial, and Antitrust Law.

The board of El Segundo, California-based DirecTV agreed to the deal in May, but it needs approval by the Justice Department. The Congressional committees have no direct jurisdiction over the merger.

Stephenson said Dallas-based AT&T makes no money from its U-Verse pay-TV services today. It uses them as a way to sell broadband in competition with cable companies. Merging with DirecTV would make its broadband service more attractive in areas where it doesn't have U-Verse, he said. That's the reason AT&T committed three weeks ago to making broadband available to an additional 13 million mostly rural households. It would do that through so-called "fixed wireless" links.

In general, such links can be faster than DSL, but may not be competitive with cable. AT&T has also offered to make ultra-fast fiber connections available to an additional 2 million households.

John Bergmayer, senior staff attorney at Public Knowledge, noted that AT&T has not said how many households it was planning to connect with fiber without the DirecTV merger, making it difficult to evaluate how big the new commitment is.

In addition, the AT&T has "a history of using already planned buildouts as a merger promise," he said. When trying to get approval for its purchase of T-Mobile in 2011, AT&T offered a high-speed wireless buildout. When regulators blocked the deal, the buildout continued anyway.
 


© 2014 Associated Press under contract with NewsEdge. All rights reserved.
 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:



IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there's a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know by accessing the white paper, "5 Things You Didn't Know About Cloud Backup". Access the White Paper now.


 Cloud Computing
1.   VMware Buys CloudVolumes' V-Apps
2.   Concerto 2200: Dedupe, Compression
3.   Office 365 Tailored for Attorneys
4.   Apple Opens China iCloud Data Center
5.   Samsung Buys SmartThings


advertisement
Concerto 2200: Dedupe, Compression
Firms save money by saving space.
Average Rating:
Samsung Buys SmartThings
To allow people, appliances to interact.
Average Rating:
Cisco Axes 6,000 Employees
Company is facing declining profits.
Average Rating:


advertisement
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Researchers Find Malicious Android Apps Can Hack Gmail
A new study shows that a weakness in the Android mobile operating system can be used to steal sensitive, personal info from unwitting users. Gmail proved to be the easiest app to attack; Amazon, the hardest.
 
UPS Stores in 24 States Hit by Data Breach
Big Brown has been breached. UPS said that about 105,000 customer transactions at 51 of its UPS Store locations in 24 states could have been compromised between January and August.
 
Cost of Target Data Breach: $148 Million Plus Loss of Trust
The now infamous Target data breach is still costing the company -- and its shareholders -- plenty. In fact, the retailing giant forecast the December 2013 incident cost shareholders $148 million.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Acer's New Desktop Box Rides the Chrome OS Wave
Filling out its Chrome OS line, Acer is following the introduction of a larger Chromebook line earlier this month with a new tiny $180 desktop Chromebox and also a smaller Chromebook.
 
Feds OK $2.3 Billion IBM-Lenovo x86 Server Deal
IBM and Lenovo are celebrating U.S. approval of their x86-based server deal, having cleared some major security hurdles. The deal makes Lenovo a major player for enterprise data centers.
 
Three New Lenovo PCs Aimed at Business Users
With businesses wanting computing solutions that do more for less money, Lenovo has unveiled three new desktop PCs that it says offer solid computing at a budget-minded price.
 

Mobile Technology Spotlight
Screen Shortage Briefly Puts Brakes on iPhone 6
RAM? Check. Antenna switch? Check. Screen? Oops. Parts suppliers for Apple have found themselves facing a shortage of screens for the new iPhone 6 as next month's release date for the new smartphone looms.
 
Bounty Offered to Coders for Oculus Rift Bugs
Coders who find bugs in software for the Oculus Rift VR immersive headset could receive a reward of at least $500 under Facebook's White Hat bounty program. Facebook acquired Oculus in March.
 
Google Glass Adds Voice Access to Phone Contacts
The latest update to Google Glass will let users access their top 20 phone contacts with voice commands alone. A user can then choose a phone call, Google hangouts, e-mail or text messaging.
 

Navigation
NewsFactor Network
Home/Top News | Enterprise I.T. | Cloud Computing | Applications | Hardware | Mobile Tech | Big Data | Communications
World Wide Web | Network Security | Data Storage | CRM Systems | Microsoft/Windows | Apple/Mac | Linux/Open Source | Personal Tech
Press Releases
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.