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WSJ Reports AT&T May Be Eying a $40B DirecTV Acquisition

timothy posted about 3 months ago | from the you-are-my-eyeballs-my-only-eyeballs dept.

AT&T 73

New submitter rcht148 (2872453) writes with this excerpt from The Verge:"If the idea of Comcast buying out Time Warner Cable to become the largest cable company in America wasn't enough to make you worry about media consolidation, news [Wednesday] from the Wall Street Journal just might. Reportedly, AT&T has approached DirecTV to begin 'possible acquisition' talks, a deal that the WSJ says could be worth over $40 billion. If it were to happen, it would give the combined company something on the order of 26 million TV subscribers, making it second only to the hypothetical Comcast/TWC combination of 30 million."

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net neutrality (5, Insightful)

arbiterxero (952505) | about 3 months ago | (#46888143)

All the more reason net neutrality matters. A LOT.

Hmmm, do I want the disney internet, or the work internet, or the Time-Warner internet, or the HBO internet...

It will become mindless channels instead of the broad communication tool it is now

Re:net neutrality (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46888171)

...Because the Slashdots of the future will all be slashdotted.

Rock On Commander Taco of The Future!

Re:net neutrality (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46889015)

DirectTV has no internet service and this would have no impact on that.

Re:net neutrality (1)

unitron (5733) | about 3 months ago | (#46889973)

DirectTV has no internet service and this would have no impact on that.

Picture this--your home phone line is good enough for outbound internet traffic via a DSL type hookup and your download comes in much faster via satellite, so instead of cable TV you go ahead with DirecTV over the satellite dish you need for fast internet anyway, and ATT/DirecTV gets your money and Comcast/TWC doesn't.

Because synergies

(and any other buzzwords that happen to be lying around)

Re:net neutrality (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46890495)

There's a reason why satellite internet is considered the last resort, even with a company whose entire business is supplying satellite internet, including launching satellites that are designed specifically for this.

It's crap - high latency (which you would only reduce but not eliminate with a wired return path), and really easily congests. It's not exactly a cheap enterprise. If AT&T wanted to do something like this in areas they don't have a wired network, they'd be better off using LTE (and then dumping the wired return path as it is not needed) - which is exactly what they are trying to do, along with Verizon.

It wouldn't be "much faster" unless the alternative is dialup.

Re:net neutrality (2)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 3 months ago | (#46896563)

Well, it sort of has HughesNet, not sure if that's really part of DirecTV or not. It's only 1-2Mbps though, with somewhat low daily bandwidth caps. Great for web browsing at home, not really viable for streaming.

Re:net neutrality (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 3 months ago | (#46889163)

Net Neutrality is important, but lets not exaggerate what will likely happen. If you live in town, I doubt it will even effect you. If you live in the country however, and all your neighbors watch netflix, your internet connections going to suck on friday/saturday nights. I'm fairly certain that if they start using the issue to block your access to parts of the internet and create walled gardens, the FCC would step in, and if they didn't, it'd end up in front of SCOTUS as 1st amendment issue. I don't think there is anything the ISPs would find less palatable than SCOTUS rulings on their services. I suspect they'd bend over backwards to prevent it going that far.

Re:net neutrality (1)

jimbolauski (882977) | about 3 months ago | (#46891247)

How is this a 1st amendment issue? The com lines are not owned by the government, they are owned by private companies.

Re:net neutrality (1)

ArmoredDragon (3450605) | about 3 months ago | (#46892831)

I don't believe directv itself provides any internet services. There's hughesnet, but I don't recall if they're a sister company or a parent company. Even if they are the same company these days, the service is crap anyways; it's horribly capped and the latency is awful, and I can't see a merger making it any worse.

Anyways, IMO this only stands to harm pay TV content providers. And you know what? I say let it happen. The pay TV content providers have been fucking us over for decades and are THE biggest reason for cable price hikes. They are given government sanctioned monopolies over their content that they use to strong arm the rest of us, so let them see what happens when they get strong-armed by a worse monopoly.

As for pay TV prices, I no longer give a fuck. I stopped watching pay TV last year. Popcorn time, sickbeard, and couchpotato will get you anything you want in that on-demand style; the later two via the pirate bay which has strongly withstood even the most demanding attacks by the **AAs.

AT&T paying a fortune to John Malone AGAIN? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46888163)

AT&T paid a fortune for John Malone's TCI, then sold it to Comcast.

Now they're going to him a fortune again for DirecTV?

Could this be the funding Malone needs for another run at Time Warner Cable?

Stay tuned!

Pretty soon we'll all have exactly two choices (3, Insightful)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about 3 months ago | (#46888181)

Want internet? You can have either Comcast or AT&T. Choose one.

Re:Pretty soon we'll all have exactly two choices (1)

CRCulver (715279) | about 3 months ago | (#46888549)

As I've mentioned before in Slashdot threads on the poor quality and prices of internet access in the US, there has to be more to the story than lack of competition. In my town in Romania, I also have exactly two choices: UPC and RCS-RDS. And yet both offer an at least 400 megabit fiber optic conection (the latter just started offering gigabit) to your door for less than 20€/month. There's no throttling, you can torrent hundreds of gigabytes a month without anyone batting an eye.

Now, perhaps this is because EU funds may have been available to lay new fiber all over the country, even in less densely populated and less affluent areas. Is there no comparable funding in the US, and if not, what is the political obstacle? I had thought that the old Universal Service Fund had been updated to help provide wider access to the internet.

Re:Pretty soon we'll all have exactly two choices (1)

hendrips (2722525) | about 3 months ago | (#46888833)

I would speculate that the low speeds, at least, occur because Americans simply don't care. Yes, yes, I know that plenty of American Slashdotters care. But competition tends to make companies better at producing what customers demand. If there isn't sufficient demand for a product, such as gigabit internet, then no amount of competition will cause companies to start producing that product.

Now, that's not an absolute statement, and low demand isn't the same thing as no demand. If Google wants to provide Kansas City with gigabit internet on its own initiative at a low, possibly subsidized, price as a publicity stunt, I'm sure plenty of people will sign up. And better marketing and public awareness might raise demand for better internet speeds. But my guess is that most Americans are satisfied with the internet speeds, or at least not upset enough to do anything about it (remember, Slashdot isn't America). My own city actually has heated competition between three different ISP's. It's led to lower prices, which customers obviously want, but not faster speeds, which customers don't seem to care about.

That's my pet theory, at least.

Re:Pretty soon we'll all have exactly two choices (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46888955)

It's not about caring, slashdoters probably do care more than the average American, but unless you care enough to pay somebody to lay fiber to your house, or move to an area with better connectivity, there isn't really much you can do. Around here you have to choose between having an uncapped connection from Century link that maxes out at about 5mpbs or a capped connection from Comcrap that may or may not be up on a given day and isn't being as closely regulated as the DSL provider.

In most of the US you have neither fast speeds nor low prices. You can't really see what the customers really want until it's offered. And it isn't offered around here. I'm paying the same amount for my 5mbps connection that folks are paying for a 40mbps connection in parts of the country where Centurylink offers the service.

Re:Pretty soon we'll all have exactly two choices (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46891177)

The reason it's so slow, is due to Monopolistic contracts that the cities went into for phone and cable service.

ie - one Cable company, one Phone company.

Phone company provides DSL.
Cable company provides Cable Internet.

Without competition being allowed, they stagnate, don't make improvement until they have to, oversubscribe their lines without increasing backbone capacity.
And by way of the contracts, they get away with it.

However, I think it's time the cities nip this in the bud, by placing performance and cost guarantees on the contracts, with provisions to take the infrastructure if they don't perform.

Re:Pretty soon we'll all have exactly two choices (4, Interesting)

smooth wombat (796938) | about 3 months ago | (#46888869)

Is there no comparable funding in the US, and if not, what is the political obstacle?

Back in the late 90s and early 2000s, the U.S. government gave out billions of dollars to companies to lay fiber all over the country for the expected increase in internet usage. They were trying to give a boost to the thousands of ISPs we had at that time by taking over some of the cost of the upgrade.

Tens of thousands of miles of fiber were laid and then nothing. It was at this same time The Great Consolidation started to take place and over the next decade we went from thousands of providers to a literal handful. All that taxpayer money that was given to companies to lay fiber went wasted because after it was laid, the money that was left over was used by companies to buy up competitors rather than upgrading backend services to provide higher speeds.

The result is what you see today. 3 or 4 providers covering the country with the vast majority of people having only 1 or 2 providers to choose from, both offering the same high prices for the same slow speeds.

The difference between your country and ours is that private industry is supposed to react to consumer demand by providing better products/services at lower prices than their competitor. In reality, millions of dollars each year are spent bribing elected officials and those involved with decision-making of rules and regulations to prevent real free market principles from taking hold.

To be perfectly blunt, the way things are now in this country, with businesses holding sway and able to get elected officials to do their bidding, is not too far off from the way things were done in your country, and most of Eastern Europe under Soviet rule, in the past. What the people want is becoming less and less relevant with those who have the power and influence dictating how things will be.

Re:Pretty soon we'll all have exactly two choices (2)

BradMajors (995624) | about 3 months ago | (#46888985)

The United States does have a "plan": http://www.broadband.gov/plan/... [broadband.gov]

Billions in government money is available for expanding broadband.

Re:Pretty soon we'll all have exactly two choices (1)

swb (14022) | about 3 months ago | (#46889533)

Newer infrastructure?

In most cases, US high speed internet is an "extension" (or bastardization, if you will) of older, pre-existing infrastructure. DSL is built out on top of POTS, and pretty much everything else that isn't fiber to the home is built out on the cable television infrastructure.

My guess is that most of the communications infrastructure, especially Internet connectivity, dates from the mid-1990s at the earliest. It was purpose built, brand-new using modern technologies rather than adapting the crap infrastructure already present in many US cities that dates from the 1980s at latest.

Re:Pretty soon we'll all have exactly two choices (1)

CRCulver (715279) | about 3 months ago | (#46889745)

My first broadband connection in Romania in the 2000s was DSL built on top of either phone or cable television infrastructure, I forget. But by the middle of the first decade of the new millennium, there was a large and successful push for laying fiber. Except for a few small ventures like Google and Verizon working in some limited areas, that push never happened in the US.

Re:Pretty soon we'll all have exactly two choices (1)

swb (14022) | about 3 months ago | (#46890353)

But what was the telecommunications infrastructure like before Ceausescu was deposed? I would guess that individual phone lines were something of a luxury, especially outside core urban areas. Was there even a cable television infrastructure before the 1990s?

Of course, I'm not justifying what feels like underinvestment in US infrastructure, but somehow it seems more likely you'd end up today with something much more modern in a place like Romania which likely had a pretty old and small telecomms buildout until the 1990s.

Re:Pretty soon we'll all have exactly two choices (1)

CRCulver (715279) | about 3 months ago | (#46891479)

The point is that there have been two major waves of infrastructure investment in recent years in Romania while in the US there has only been one and then apparently companies got lazy and began to abuse their monopolies/duopolies.

Americans sometimes claim that firms have not laid fiber because they are still coasting on the telephone lines and cable television connections. However, the 1990s saw Romania build up telephone lines and cable television connections, and broadband internet was originally provided through these. After 2005, there was then a major and broadly successful push to replace those cable and POTS DSL internet connections with fiber.

Re:Pretty soon we'll all have exactly two choices (1)

swb (14022) | about 3 months ago | (#46893431)

My only guess (outside of pure rent-seeking monopoly behavior) would be just scale -- 250M people versus 20 million people, 9 million km^2 vs. 238,000 km^2, and the US only has about 1/3 of the population density.

Re:Pretty soon we'll all have exactly two choices (1)

CRCulver (715279) | about 3 months ago | (#46893575)

While population density might explain the dearth of fiber in rural areas of the United States, it does not explain the lack of fiber in many US metropolitan areas. "pure rent-seeking monopoly behavior" is probably all that it comes down to.

Re:Pretty soon we'll all have exactly two choices (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46896333)

I think the problem is these are *cable companies* and not *telcos*. Yes, they do perform telecommunications functions, but their primary purpose has always been to sell TV channels. Companies light NetFlix sell TV/movies as well, so there's incentive to limit their access.

Hell, Comcast and Time Warner are involved in both the creation of movies/tv, distribution via cable, and internet access. No wonder they want to hurt Netflix.

Vertical separation may be necessary.

Re:Pretty soon we'll all have exactly two choices (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 3 months ago | (#46896577)

Ah, EU funds. We don't have much public funding of anything in the US really, even our bridges fall down. Too many people in power think that market forces should control everything and can solve any problem. And in this case, it's mostly right, as long as you live in a major metropolitan hub rather than a small town,rural area, or in the poor parts of town.

Re:Pretty soon we'll all have exactly two choices (1)

Hamsterdan (815291) | about 3 months ago | (#46888983)

So, in most markets that's the way it works (telco and cableco). Even if there are resellers, prices are about the same (like gas stations)...

The problem is ISPs are also content distributers, so they want to prevent Netflix and such from competing with their own services (or TV channels), hence why Comcast was able to force Netflix to pay them...

Re:Pretty soon we'll all have exactly two choices (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46889337)

Want internet? You can have either Comcast or AT&T. Choose one.

I don't have that choice in my area.

Re:Pretty soon we'll all have exactly two choices (1)

AnontheDestroyer (3500983) | about 3 months ago | (#46890179)

I would LOVE 2 choices. I only have 1. All the more reason these companies should be busted the hell up instead of merged,.

Re:Pretty soon we'll all have exactly two choices (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46890629)

Living that dream day in, day out.

At my location I can receive very slow (768Kbps/256Kbps) but reliable AT&T DSL and/or Comcast cable modem service with variable performance dependent on time of day and highly unreliable service.

The joys of living in a 3rd world country (aka San Francisco Bay Area).

Utopia! (1)

DarthVain (724186) | about 3 months ago | (#46891953)

What kind of Utopia do you live in? Two choices!

Where I am from you can have either Bell or Rogers. Choose one. Both offer exact same packages.

I know there is a kang and kodos joke in here someplace...

https://www.google.ca/url?sa=t... [google.ca]

Re:Pretty soon we'll all have exactly two choices (1)

antdude (79039) | about 3 months ago | (#46892223)

For Internet, I only have one fast affordable one: Cable. No DSL, fiber, etc. I can go back to dial-up, satellite, etc. but why?

Oligopoly (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46888197)

Is the word of the day. Until some kind of real regulation/legislation occurs high price and low service compared to the rest of the developed world will continue to be the mantra of the US Television and Internet market.

Both have better TV then comcast (2)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 3 months ago | (#46888237)

DirecTV and Uverse have better TV then comcast.

Comcast can't even show all there IN MARKET RSN HD feeds or other stuff like BTN ALTs in HD or Premier League Extra Time as real channels.

Comcast is liveing in the past with loads of older boxes they still have HD boxes out there don't even have HDMI out on them.

Re:Both have better TV then comcast (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46888325)

That may be true (I happen to agree with you that it likely is), however this is not about TV. This is about competition and removing it.

If AT&T buys out DirecTV that creates one more super-monopoly and reduces choices even more, thereby allowing everyone to raise prices and reduce quality. Nothing about this is good for consumers.

Re:Both have better TV then comcast (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 3 months ago | (#46888479)

Well Dish and directv need to do something if comcast and TWC meager happens.

Re:Both have better TV then comcast (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46890329)

Why would they? It has no effect on them as a company. Actually, scratch that, it has a positive effect on them as quality of service expectations can get lowered and they can raise their prices.

It's the consumer this is bad for, not the cable and satellite companies.

Re:Both have better TV then comcast (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 3 months ago | (#46896599)

DirecTV and Dish though have relatively little clout when it comes to negotiating with major content providers, and there have been disputes in the past, the satellite companies have put their foot down and have channels drop off the air rather than pay higher prices. But eventually they give in to reality and pay the higher prices and pass most of it along to customers. Still cheaper than cable though.

So one possible benefit is that the combined ATT/DirecTV might be able to force more concessions.

Re:Both have better TV then comcast (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46888341)

oh poor baby, can't get his retarded sports.

As if any of those things are even vaguely important with this story.

Re: Both have better TV then comcast (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46888457)

Brilliant response! I don't care about item X...so it's retarded!

Re:Both have better TV then comcast (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46893185)

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/then

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/than

don't care (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46888283)

it would give the combined company something on the order of 26 million TV subscribers

Who cares about TV? Oh you think it matters because for many people that's their internet too... well let them bundle themselves to death. My main concern is internet. I will net ever buy a cable "TV" service. So if there isn't competitive options for Internet, meaning, besides cable, like I don't know, fiber... then that's a separate problem. See, if they keep hanging on to this dying TV thing, people are eventually going to force true competition on the internet services by fleeing...I did it 10 years ago, some others may take 10 or even 20 years more, but it is coming. Cable TV will be dead.

Good, we don't need those satellites (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46888287)

Hopefully AT&T will begin broadcasting these DirecTV channels from its mobile phone towers instead of sending up satellites. I know Space Nutters like to go on and on about the need to dump billions of dollars into launching things into orbit, but the same things can be done here on Earth for cheaper.

Re:Good, we don't need those satellites (1)

Megane (129182) | about 3 months ago | (#46888559)

Ha ha, that's funny. But seriously, AT&T has been selling DirectTV for years as part of the "triple play" option for the areas it doesn't have Uverse for whatever reason. I guess they got tired of selling so many DirectTV subscriptions.

This is LESS worrying than Comcast (3, Interesting)

mi (197448) | about 3 months ago | (#46888317)

If the idea of Comcast buying out Time Warner Cable to become the largest cable company in America wasn't enough to make you worry

That idea is very worrying — because it is about two competitors merging. However, with both of them being very-very cozy with the governing party [nationalreview.com] , the merger is all but decided, unfortunately.

If it were to happen, it would give the combined company something on the order of 26 million TV subscribers

That's a lot, but less than the other combo and, more importantly, TV is not primary line of business for AT&T...

That said, with Internet-speeds continuing to rise — net-neutrality or not — it will only become easier to deliver content over it. Netflix may have made a special deal with Verizon [cnet.com] , but smaller IPTV providers (like KartinaTV used by my relatives to watch channels from the former USSR and Israel) are doing just fine without any special arrangements.

Re:This is LESS worrying than Comcast (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 3 months ago | (#46888569)

but all of that TV eats your CAP fast. Also what makes you think comcast will not play fair with online TV when they have there own TV system to sell you. they may even have be like buy TV and get a bigger cap on the internet.

Re: This is LESS worrying than Comcast (1)

beanpoppa (1305757) | about 3 months ago | (#46889305)

This is more worrying. The Comcast/twc merger is not really a merger of competitors. They generally serve separate and distinct markets. If I am unhappy with comcast, I cant switch to twc. But I can (generally) switch to directv or dish, or possibly at&t uverse or verizon fios.

Re:This is LESS worrying than Comcast (1)

litehacksaur111 (2895607) | about 3 months ago | (#46889431)

Please don't try and tell us that somehow the republicans are such saints in this. At least the democrats have tried to pass net-neutrality rules which would put an end to the content based discrimination nonsense.

Re:This is LESS worrying than Comcast (1)

mi (197448) | about 3 months ago | (#46892235)

Please don't try and tell us that somehow the republicans are such saints in this

I was not talking about Republicans. I was talking about the Administration currently in charge — in whose power it is to block the merger. Famously, Obama "has pen and phone", but would not use it. Considering the two companies' support for Democratic Party, it is not difficult to see why. Saint or not, if Bush was of similar disposition, Enron [apfn.org] might still have been around...

At least the democrats have tried to pass net-neutrality rules which would put an end to the content based discrimination nonsense.

Even if such rules were desirable (and I doubt it), I don't see, how a free country can legally impose them.

Re:This is LESS worrying than Comcast (1)

unitron (5733) | about 3 months ago | (#46891295)

If the idea of Comcast buying out Time Warner Cable to become the largest cable company in America wasn't enough to make you worry

That idea is very worrying — because it is about two competitors merging. However, with both of them being very-very cozy with the governing party [nationalreview.com] , the merger is all but decided, unfortunately.

If it were to happen, it would give the combined company something on the order of 26 million TV subscribers

That's a lot, but less than the other combo and, more importantly, TV is not primary line of business for AT&T...

That said, with Internet-speeds continuing to rise — net-neutrality or not — it will only become easier to deliver content over it. Netflix may have made a special deal with Verizon [cnet.com] , but smaller IPTV providers (like KartinaTV used by my relatives to watch channels from the former USSR and Israel) are doing just fine without any special arrangements.

Of course they're cozy with the governing party.

And if the other party takes control they'll be cozy with them.

You bribe whomever can do something for you in return.

And you pay something to their enemies to keep them around in case the people in power get too greedy and need replacing with someone who'll give you more bang for your bribe buck--that way the the people in power know not to get too greedy lest they kill the goose which is laying the golden eggs.

Re:This is LESS worrying than Comcast (1)

mi (197448) | about 3 months ago | (#46892291)

Of course they're cozy with the governing party.

And if the other party takes control they'll be cozy with them.

You are implying sheer cynicism and I wish, it were this simple. It is not — the media-holdings of both companies are, quite (in)famously Illiberal. The National Review article [nationalreview.com] I linked to has the detail. The sole Democrat fighting the merger is a clown [huffingtonpost.com] ...

Direct TV owns spectrum (2)

freddieb (537771) | about 3 months ago | (#46888327)

Direct TV owns plenty of spectrum. That's probably what ATT wants and probably would preclude the FCC granting such an action.

Dear AT&T (3, Insightful)

slapout (93640) | about 3 months ago | (#46888359)

Dear AT&T,

How about using some of that money to improve your current service?

Re:Dear AT&T (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46888689)

Dear slapout,
Please explain why that would create a better return for our investors.

Re:Dear AT&T (1)

slapout (93640) | about 3 months ago | (#46889109)

Dear AT&T,

Because you would stop losing customers. Commercials with people [wikipedia.org] from a low rated comedy show [deadline.com] will only get you so far.

Re:Dear AT&T (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46890813)

It's a very bad idea to join AT&T and DirecTV.
I had AT&T land line phone and cell service, the prices kept increasing for value received. Since it sucked it wasn't worth it any more.
I had DirecTV , same issue, huge price increases, lot of packaged crap channels. It also sucked so it wasn't worth it any more.
What would joining two businesses that sucked be called ?
Comcast ?

Re:Dear AT&T (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 3 months ago | (#46896613)

Combine the suck factor of both and whip into a frothy mix, and you'd probably still have less suck than comcast. A lot of time the price increases are because the prices that content providers charge for channels is going up.

A poem comes to mind... (1)

mu51c10rd (187182) | about 3 months ago | (#46888495)

This is how the internet ends...
This is how the internet ends...
This is how the internet ends...
Not with a bang, but with a whimper.

time to go somewhere else (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46888567)

If at&t buys DirecTV, it might be time to go to a different wireless provider. I refuse to have anything to do with the c r o o k s at DirecTV.

I have both (1)

unixcorn (120825) | about 3 months ago | (#46888669)

I have been planning to cancel my directv subscription for months. I have an antenna and use my Roku or AppleTV boxes for other content. If I cancel, I save $150 per month. While some here predict that a merger will kill the internet, I believe the internet has already won the content delivery wars, providers simply haven't received the message. How many network feeds like ESPN, HGTV or even Disney for $150 per month? Based on the cost of Netflix and Amazon Prime, I am guessing quite a few. Goodbye Directv, hello choice.

Re:I have both (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 3 months ago | (#46896629)

I dropped DirecTV last week, but it was only $70 for me, and a bargain compared to the competition. Still too much though given that most shows I watched have ended and I was down to only 2 shows watched regularly.

Too much power (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46888753)

I don't want federal government to have control over anything, and I don't want corporations to have too much control either. AT&T is too big, and deals like this will just contribute to the "to big to fail" and "to big to jail". And it's the courts that have the responsibility to prevent that. If they fail, then they accept the repurcussions society descides to impose on them.

Re:Too much power (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46892713)

History shows that if the government doesn't have the power the corporations will. While the government having the power doesn't nessecarily prevent the corporations from having control over the governement.

As a DirecTV subscriber... (2)

PRMan (959735) | about 3 months ago | (#46888797)

As a happy DirecTV subscriber for over 14 years who has a lifetime ban against AT&T (and really has no desire to work with multiple-time Worst Company in America holder Comcast), these actions will absolutely ensure that I become a cord-cutter.

Re:As a DirecTV subscriber... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46888917)

If you ban AT&T and Comcast, how will you get internet? Let me tell you, when I moved I had to spend a weekend in a house with no power and no data coverage/internet. The lack of data was more painful than the lack of electricity.

Re:As a DirecTV subscriber... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46891259)

I'm sorry that your standards are so low as to be happy to overpay for shit product.

Dish network's equipment, service and programming are higher quality, better value and more importantly - Less Expensive.

They don't have to pay huge royalties to TiVo for patents that never applied to Dish's DVR.
Tivo's patents were for analog recording only. Dish's equipment is all digital. Regardless of any court cases ruled on by ignorant judges, the patents never applied.
Dish owns the patents on the all Digital DVR's. TiVO / DirecTV should be paying them.

Oh... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46888951)

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

I love DirecTV too much to let it be ruined by AT&T!!!!!!!!!!

Nooooooo (1)

sootman (158191) | about 3 months ago | (#46889507)

ooooooooooooooooooooo!

It's bad enough that TiVo is mostly gone -- even the plain-vanilla DVR that comes with DirecTV is decent and is WAY better than the shit that comes with U-Verse. My sister has U-verse and hates it. I tried it for a month when AT&T upgraded my internet connection (DSL to fiber-to-the-curb) and I also hated it. It so is ungodly bad in so many ways I can't even begin to list them all. On top of the horrible UI, my sister came back from a 2-week business trip to find that her DVR lost all of its shows. And that has happened to her a few times since then.

Re:Nooooooo (1)

nytes (231372) | about 3 months ago | (#46891565)

It used to take around 25 button pushes to turn closed captions on or off on U-verse. I'd like to know how they came up with their usage scenarios when designing this that interface.

Thankfully, they've added a shortcut that reduces it to around six button pushes, but still... Why does it only take one button on my DVD player?

Just Another Sign That U-Verse Is A Failure (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46889807)

Of the 6 people I know with U-Verse TV they all hate it. So ATT is taking another route for the consumer TV market.

Re:Just Another Sign That U-Verse Is A Failure (1)

Malizar (553281) | about 3 months ago | (#46890709)

I would have to say I am happy with my U-Verse service at home. I was with TWC before, and they REALLY sucked. I had to reset my internet router multiple times a day, they sent technician after technician out to find the problem, and no luck. I switched to U-Verse and my internet has been down for about 15 minutes in the last 2 years.

The Three Stooges (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about 3 months ago | (#46890167)

Oligopolies almost always suck. They use the excuse of "economies of scale", but in practice the lack of incentives under an oligopoly is a much bigger drag than lack of economies of scale. The few players in the market tend to mutually settle on a uniform mediocre or low product and service level and each grow complacent because customers have to choose between Larry, Mo, or Curly: all 3 suck and switching from say Mo to Curly still leaves you with an idiot running the show. (I'm not talking about service, not entertainment level.)

Conservatives like to talk about government inefficiency due to lack of competition, but oligopolies are not far behind, but conservatives don't want to prevent oligopolies because that's "regulation". I find it hypocritical.

God noooooooooo! (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 3 months ago | (#46891949)

I wish this were a modern web site where we could paste reaction gifs like Michael Scott screaming calmly, "No! God no! No! God no! Nooooooooooo"

Request denied! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46893093)

Break up AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, Time Warner, and the rest of these huge duopolies. Time to get speed and competition back in the U.S. Internet markets.

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