PTC to AT&T: Unbundle to Win Regulatory Approval for Time Warner Purchase

Written by PTC | Published April 13, 2018

ATT With ESPN’s new streaming service, consumers clearly want unbundled options. The Parents Television Council is urging AT&T to take heed of ESPN’s newly-announced streaming service and reports of anti-consumer concerns of its purchase of Time Warner by adopting an “a la carte” option in order to win regulatory approval for its acquisition. “Just yesterday, newswires brought reports of both ESPN’s new streaming service and regulatory opposition of AT&T’s attempted acquisition of Time Warner. AT&T could, and should, solve both issues by pledging to allow DirecTV subscribers to choose for themselves which networks they take and pay for in their programming packages. By adopting this simple solution as a condition of its desired merger with Time Warner, AT&T would surely secure swift approval by government regulatory authorities and immediately remedy the anti-consumer sentiment the cable industry is so frequently accused of,” said PTC President Tim Winter. “ESPN’s announcement makes clear its intention to embrace a world without its traditional cable and satellite distributors. DirecTV should move first and embrace a world where its subscribers, not its programmers, decide what programming goes into the bundle. And by giving consumers greater choice, AT&T obviates the stated regulatory concern that the merger could cost consumers an extra $571 million annually. AT&T should take heed of both news items and move accordingly to win back consumer trust and, ultimately, approval of their merger.”

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