1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

AT&T wins: Judge clears $85 billion bid for Time Warner with no conditions

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by James Long, Jun 12, 2018.

  1. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    47,522
    1,255
    Apr 17, 2003
    Michiana
    AT&T wins: Judge clears $85 billion bid for Time Warner with no conditions

    * U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon did not impose conditions on the merger's approval.
    * He also urged the government not to seek a stay when issuing his decision in a closed-door room with reporters.
    * Shares of Time Warner jumped roughly 5 percent in extended trading. Shares of AT&T dropped as much as 2 percent.

    A federal judge said Tuesday that AT&T's $85.4 billion purchase of Time Warner is legal, clearing the path for a deal that gives the pay-TV provider ownership of cable channels such as HBO and CNN as well as film studio Warner Bros.

    U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon did not impose conditions on the merger's approval. He also urged the government not to seek a stay when issuing his decision in a closed-door room with reporters.

    AT&T General Counsel David McAtee said the company was pleased with the result.

    "We are pleased that, after conducting a full and fair trial on the merits, the Court has categorically rejected the government's lawsuit to block our merger with Time Warner," McAtee said in a statement. "We look forward to closing the merger on or before June 20 so we can begin to give consumers video entertainment that is more affordable, mobile, and innovative."
     
  2. makaiguy

    makaiguy Icon

    1,011
    70
    Sep 24, 2007
    Aiken, SC
    ... and the octopus grows another tentacle ...
     
    RexB and HoTat2 like this.
  3. CraigerM

    CraigerM Well-Known Member

    1,412
    64
    Apr 15, 2014
    St. Louis
    I thought of one thing that worries me about this is network carriage deals especially if companies by other networks. Say if Comcast or Disney by the Fox entertainment channels and AT&T and Comcast or Disney can't come to a deal with then would AT&T not get those Fox entertainment networks and vice versa. Then you would have to start subscribing to a bunch of streaming networks if you wanted watch those channels and not just one that would have most of the cable channels.
     
    ericknolls likes this.
  4. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

    8,923
    991
    Feb 14, 2013
    Iowa
    I didn't see the ruling, but I would expect there would be oversight of it similar to what they did for the Comcast purchase of NBC.

    Even if there isn't any official oversight, if AT&T drives too hard of a bargain for competitors like Dish or Spectrum those companies could go the FTC with an antitrust complaint if they were withholding TW content in order to benefit their Directv business.
     
    ericknolls likes this.
  5. NashGuy

    NashGuy Active Member

    199
    40
    Jan 30, 2014
    Nashville, TN
    If I understand correctly, there's NO official oversight, NO conditions, no nothin'. So AT&T won't have any kind of restrictions on them like Comcast had. And the judge basically warned the DOJ not to try to appeal his ruling, effectively saying that the government really just has no case. The judge's ruling and comments essentially amounted to a legal bitch slap across the DOJ's face.
     
    ericknolls likes this.
  6. NR4P

    NR4P Dad

    6,475
    311
    Jan 15, 2007
    Sunny Florida
    It was politics from the beginning. Had to do with Time Warner's ownership of key news outlets that the current administration didn't like.

    Comcast owns NBC Universal.
    AT&T owns Time Warner

    Seems pretty fair to allow it to happen.
     
    ericknolls likes this.
  7. JoeTheDragon

    JoeTheDragon Hall Of Fame

    4,841
    50
    Jul 21, 2008
    If Comcast takes over FOX and try to play hard ball. Maybe ATT can pull HBO just in time for GOT!
     
  8. SamC

    SamC Hall Of Fame

    2,217
    84
    Jan 20, 2003
    Having a company in both the content making and content delivering business is 100% pro-consumer. If Comcast wants to jack up its rates for NBC channels, AT&T just retaliates against it relative to T-W channels. Thus everybody has an incentive to be reasonable. Very good news.
     
  9. TheRatPatrol

    TheRatPatrol Hall Of Fame

    7,719
    335
    Oct 1, 2003
    Phoenix, AZ
    If that were the case then why don’t we have CSN-Philly in exchange for AT&T Sports Net Pittsburgh and CSN-Northwest in exchange for AT&T Sports Net Northwest?
     
  10. KyL416

    KyL416 Hall Of Fame

    4,933
    807
    Nov 10, 2005
    Tobyhanna, PA
    Well the first part, the core of NBCS Philly's territory doesn't overlap with the core of ATT Pittsburgh's, and Comcast isn't the dominant provider in many of the overlapping areas in rural PA, where they are paying the lower outer ring rate. It also doesn't help that U-Verse doesn't have any systems in NBCS Philly territory so there's no current deal for the channel on AT&T's end either. (Verizon and Frontier are the main telco providers in PA)

    Plus, it's been 20+ years since DirecTV had local sports in Philly after Cablevision's SportsChannel Philly folded and Comcast used the former PRISM network to launch CSN Philly where they used the landlocked loophole to keep it off satellite. While that loophole has since closed, the majority of local viewers who saw the lack of local Philly sports a deal breaker would have left long ago. Unless Comcast drastically drops the price of the channel, or somehow they lose the rights to one of the teams, or somehow a million+ local viewers agree to a legally binding contract that they'll switch to DirecTV if they pick up the channel, that situation is never going to change.


    As for Northwest, the Mariners are the majority owner of that channel. Not to mention, when it comes to negotiations, RSNs are usually handled seperately from the contracts for the national channels.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
    Gary Toma likes this.
  11. NashGuy

    NashGuy Active Member

    199
    40
    Jan 30, 2014
    Nashville, TN
    Um, no. It's not. We need net neutrality, or some arrangement that's pretty close to pure net neutrality. The promise of the internet is and always has been that one can access whatever content you want (if you pay for it or it's free), from whichever web server, over any ISP/cellular network you use.

    I don't want ISPs who own content (e.g. Comcast and now AT&T) trying to withhold their content from streaming through rival ISPs' connections, or somehow making access to their own content on their own ISP so much better, or access to their rivals' content on their own ISP so much worse, that the whole content ecosystem balkanizes.

    The plausible scenario I hope to ultimately see prevail is that ISPs (whether home broadband or mobile -- they'll end up merging anyhow) will basically just be utilities, like electricity. I'm not saying that I want to see only one ISP available in a given area, the way there's now only one electrical utility. But I do hope that they're regulated just enough so that they treat all of the traffic they carry basically the same, with perhaps a few minor exceptions. You'd shop for an ISP based on price, speed, reliability, and data caps (if they have them), not based on which content bundle you can get with it and how well that bundle will perform on their network vs. how well or even whether some different content bundle they don't own would perform on it.

    Meanwhile, I foresee that the vast majority of content will eventually be distributed by its owner directly to consumer via their OTT service. Disney may have Hulu, and Disneyflix, and an ESPN OTT service. Other content owners would have one or more OTT services. And whichever streaming device platform you use -- Apple TV, Roku, Android TV, Fire TV -- would offer a universal "umbrella" UI that would conveniently integrate content from your selected sources together. Each platform would have a somewhat different UI style to appeal to different folks, just the way the Dish Hopper, Comcast X1, DirecTV Genie and TiVo all have different UIs that essentially all do the same thing. And each of those platforms -- Apple, Roku, Google, Amazon -- would offer optional integrated billing for the various services you select.
     
    Rich and AZ. like this.
  12. SamC

    SamC Hall Of Fame

    2,217
    84
    Jan 20, 2003
    The vast majority of people still get content via cable or DBS, not OTT. The amount of capacity needed for even a third of people to do otherwise is astronomical and economicly unfeasable.

    This has nothing to do with the internet conspiracy theorist boogieman of "net neutrality" (translation: everybody pays more). It has to do with DirecTV joining Comcast in owning content most everybody wants, meaning lower prices for all. Very good news.
     
    jimmie57 likes this.
  13. NashGuy

    NashGuy Active Member

    199
    40
    Jan 30, 2014
    Nashville, TN
    Which content are you talking about? You sound like someone talking from the perspective of old people who think of content as only cable channels watched on a living room TV. Because I would bet that already, right now, close to half of all hours of video viewed across all screens in the US is delivered OTT. And it's all moving more and more in that direction.

    Why in the world do you think Verizon's CEO recently declared "the linear TV model is dead". He sees where things are moving.
     
    Rich and AZ. like this.
  14. KyL416

    KyL416 Hall Of Fame

    4,933
    807
    Nov 10, 2005
    Tobyhanna, PA
    Like them or not, Comcast and Time Warner have some of the highest rated content on cable. TBS, TNT and USA are some of the highest rated channels overall on cable, while channels like Adult Swim, E! and Bravo regularly are in the top for their target audiences. It's not just limited to original content either like Monday Night Raw on USA (which they just paid billions to renew, while Hulu only gets a heavily edited 90 minute version and the WWE Network has to wait a month before they can make them available), Real Housewives on Bravo, the Kardashians on E!, or the NBA on TNT. Even reruns on channels like USA, TBS and Adult Swim are regularly in the top 25.


    Keep living in your fantasy future world of affordable nationwide universal broadband where an entire household can binge as much OTT content they want with services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime. Here in PA, we have to live in the REAL world where Verizon has ZERO interest in expanding their FiOS network and has a bogus policy limiting remote terminals for DSL to 3 Mbps speeds on a copper network they refuse to maintain. (Google Verizon Trashbag repair) And because of how integrated the backend is with areas in Philly and NJ they do care about, our area will never be sold off to someone like Frontier or Fairpoint. The result? In the areas here lucky enough to have a cable option (since the cable company got to cherrypick which blocks they wired in the early 90s and haven't expanded since then), they have rediculous pricing where to get the 100 Mbps+ speeds that areas with competition can get for $30, we would have to pay over $100 and it comes with a cap, while for $50 you can get faster than DSL speeds at 10 Mbps, but it comes with a rediculously low cap that you'll blow through if you even try to bingewatch a series on Netflix and download massive multi-gig updates from Windows 10 and current generation games, so using an OTT provider like Sling, Fubo, DTV Now or PS Vue for your primary viewing is a non-starter, especially if you have more than 2 people in your house watching TV at the same time. There's actually an abandoned commercial project nearby where construction was halted after they finished the parking lot drainage system because no one wanted to move in when they saw the lack of broadband. (You try running an office where everyone has to share a 3 Mbps connection)

    And this isn't just suburban Poconos PA, it's also in urban areas like Bethlehem, Easton, Scranton, Reading and Wilkes-Barre. Heck even Boston was completely left out of FiOS until they made some backroom deals (bribes) to get Verizon to expand FiOS, and even then Verizon got to cherrypick where they deployed it. Even inner-NYC has limited FiOS availability because very few people actually own their residence with a lot of older construction, so many buildings are not wired for FiOS. (And yes, while technology like VDSL exists that can help overcome this last 100 feet hurdle involving older wiring, Verizon has ZERO interest in deploying it and is instead relying on older G.DMT technology from the 90s, and even turned down broadband subsidies that would have helped cover the cost of expanding FiOS to their copper only areas)

    As for fixed wireless broadband with 5G microcells attached to utility poles? Even if somehow they price that to be affordable, low latency with either no cap or a decent cap, small problem there, this is an area where after countless power outages from severe winter weather, we did the smart thing and moved our utilities underground.


    Also, that Verizon CEO is the LAST person you should be quoting to prove your point, for one thing, he's stepping down, he's responsible for the decision to freeze any expansion of their FiOS network in the mid 00s which left their network in the mess it is now, turned down broadband subsidies that would have covered the cost to expand FiOS to copper only areas, led to Verizon being sued when they initially refused to repair Sandy damage to their copper network in areas without FiOS on Long Island in favor of a heavily capped expensive wireless solution, and look how well their own OTT/non-linear ventures VCast and go90 went...

    Unless there's a drastic change in philosophy with their incoming CEO (which there won't he's basically the current CEO's right hand man) and they commit to expanding FiOS across their entire footprint, or a major change in regulations that not only treats broadband as a "utility", but also has the universal deployment requirement like there is for electricity and telephone service that extends to cable as well so everyone has actual competition, with no BS loopholes insterted by the industry like capped wireless or 1 Mbps DSL qualifying as being served by "broadband" (like it does in Pennsylvania), this situation will not be changing anytime soon.

    It also doesn't help that the national broadband map is a joke with telcos claiming to offer 12 Mbps+ DSL speeds across their entire footprint even though only people less than 1000 feet from the CO can get those speeds, virtual DSL providers who rely on the telco's network appearing as alternative providers in the map even though they can't offer any speeds faster than the telco would provide you, counting areas passed by their fiber network even if buildings on that block can't actually get the service, and cable companies claiming to provide service to their entire franchise territory, even though those blocks aren't wired for service.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
    skoolpsyk and SamC like this.
  15. APB101

    APB101 Icon

    1,399
    98
    Sep 1, 2010
    Michigan
    You’re so right—a monopoly, or anything near to it, is “100% pro-consumer.” (Oh, wait—you then mentioned Comcast and AT&T, in your scenario, jacking up their rates without mentioning to whom they deliver those increases.)
     
  16. TheRatPatrol

    TheRatPatrol Hall Of Fame

    7,719
    335
    Oct 1, 2003
    Phoenix, AZ
    So do you think satellite TV will be around for a while longer then? :)
     
  17. SamC

    SamC Hall Of Fame

    2,217
    84
    Jan 20, 2003
    I would suggest a basic business law class in order to learn the meaning of the term "monopoly". This case has nothing to do with a monopoly.
     
  18. jimmie57

    jimmie57 Hall Of Fame

    8,913
    620
    Jun 26, 2010
    Texas City, TX
    It is kinda funny and strange how all this combining and spinning off of different brands goes.
    Take GE for instance. It's stock has been flat to down a bunch for years. The excuse is that it is just too big. It should be broken up because the individual segments are worth more on their on than being inside the big company.
    Here we have them doing everything they can to take in every thing they possibly get to give them "scale" they call it.
    Eventually they will start spinning off these humongus company part and be back to where we were in the beginning.
    Makes your head swim.

    There is definitely 2 sides of this.
    1 is that when they gain more control of content and the distribution they will make more money from sales.
    The other is that they will push prices up because they can because they own it and will be the only place to get it.
    I don't think anyone can definitively say which result we will get.
    Heck, they might have an idea that they only want a certain part of this deal and sell something out of the combination to prevent overlap, etc. and thus regain some of the expense of the purchase they are doing now.
     
  19. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    47,522
    1,255
    Apr 17, 2003
    Michiana
    The fear side of the argument is that AT&T|DIRECTV will cut better deals for themselves than they will offer to competing companies. For example, CNN will get better treatment by AT&T|DIRECTV than Fox News because (effective June 20th) AT&T will own CNN. Or HBO will give better promotions to AT&T|DIRECTV than they give to other distributors.

    The reality is that they are all becoming 800 pound gorillas. AT&T|DIRECTV needs Comcast to distribute CNN and HBO. They cannot afford to lose viewership for their newly purchased channels ... and they cannot afford to lose channels by treating other companies unfairly. The gorillas will work together.

    The potential losers are the companies that are not 800 pound gorillas. Small media companies who rely on the larger companies to carry their channels. Small cable companies that rely on the larger companies to sell them content. They are the ones who are more likely to lose out when the gorilla decides that those companies are too small to worry about.

    I do not see a major change in the landscape due to this deal. The channels still need their distribution partners and the distribution system still need other channels than they own.
     
    AZ. and jimmie57 like this.
  20. inkahauts

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

    24,161
    1,323
    Nov 13, 2006
    True it’s not monopolistic at all. However it is big.

    I don’t think it will protect prices. But I don’t think it’s going to sky rocket then either. I think it’s going to be easier to maybe slow down their overall meteoric rise.. Its not going to keep prices from going up though. And it won’t stop disputes either.

    It’s really closer to same old same old.

    I’m more concerned about Warner brothers studios programs and movies going down hill because att may not know how to properly handle them. As in leave them the heck alone.
     
    jimmie57 likes this.

Share This Page