(Ryan Holloway)

Cable Companies Refuse To Reveal How Much They Make Off Of Set-Top Boxes

Sen. Ed Markey of Massachussetts and Sen. Dick Blumenthal of Connecticut recently posed a handful of questions to the nation’s cable and satellite providers about their set-top boxes — Are they required? How many customers have them? Is there an option for customers to purchase their own? etc. While some providers were more transparent in their responses than others, there was one thing they all agreed on: We’re not telling you how much we make from leasing these devices. [More]

AT&T: $100M Fine For Throttling Unlimited Data Users Is “Unlawful,” “Coercive,” “Indefensible”

AT&T: $100M Fine For Throttling Unlimited Data Users Is “Unlawful,” “Coercive,” “Indefensible”

In June, the FCC proposed a potentially $100 million fine against AT&T for allegedly failing to disclose to its “unlimited” data plan subscribers the extent to which their data access could be throttled if they used too much of it in any given month. The company recently responded to the allegations, and let’s just say that AT&T isn’t exactly thrilled. [More]

It’s Official: FCC Gives Blessing To Marriage Of AT&T, DirecTV

It’s Official: FCC Gives Blessing To Marriage Of AT&T, DirecTV

After the announcement earlier this week that the FCC commissioners were reviewing and set to vote on deal that would grant regulatory approval to the merger of AT&T and DirecTV, the agency made it official this afternoon by giving its conditional blessing to this $49 billion marriage. [More]

AT&T Raising Activation Fees, Adding Activation Fee For New AT&T Next Users

AT&T Raising Activation Fees, Adding Activation Fee For New AT&T Next Users

Starting Aug. 1, activating a device on AT&T is going to get more expensive. The Death Star, perhaps power mad from its triumphant acquisition of DirecTV, has decided to not only raise activation fees for contract customers, but also to make its AT&T Next and Bring-Your-Own-Device plans less affordable by adding an activation fee for new customers. [More]

45 Attorneys General Agree: Phone Companies Should Give Consumers Ability To Block Robocalls

45 Attorneys General Agree: Phone Companies Should Give Consumers Ability To Block Robocalls

While the FCC tries to allow consumers to take a more active role in which calls they do or don’t receive, a group of 45 state attorneys general (well, 44 states and the AG for the District of Columbia) are calling on the phone companies to just stop dilly dallying and start offering call-blocking services already. [More]

The Death Star Finally Getting Its Satellite: FCC Moves To Approve AT&T, DirecTV Merger

The Death Star Finally Getting Its Satellite: FCC Moves To Approve AT&T, DirecTV Merger

The $49 billion merger of AT&T and DirecTV began so long ago, there aren’t many of alive who can tell the origin story of this long-delayed marriage. Today, it looks federal regulators are willing to give their blessing to the union. [More]

Bar Sues NFL & DirecTV, Alleging NFL Sunday Ticket Is Illegal Monopoly

Bar Sues NFL & DirecTV, Alleging NFL Sunday Ticket Is Illegal Monopoly

NFL Sunday Ticket — a pricey add-on sports package that offers live access to every out-of-market Sunday afternoon NFL game — is exclusively available through DirecTV, and will remain that way for years to come. But some bar owners allege that the satellite company’s deal with the NFL creates an illegal monopoly. [More]

T-Mobile Plans To Cover Canada & Mexico At No Extra Charge, But You Must Opt-In

T-Mobile Plans To Cover Canada & Mexico At No Extra Charge, But You Must Opt-In

We’ve heard numerous stories over the years of Americans who unwittingly or inadvertently tallied up huge voice and data bills while roaming internationally in Canada or Mexico, and wireless providers have been perfectly happy with the substantial fees they earn each year off callers traveling north and south of the border. Today, T-Mobile announced that, starting next week, all its Simple Choice plans will cover calls and data usage in many areas in Canada and Mexico. [More]

(frankieleon)

AT&T Claims 11.7M People Could Get Gigabit Fiber If DirecTV Merger Approved

AT&T and DirecTV are still hoping their mega-merger is on track for approval. While they wait, the FCC has been asking them to clarify some of their earlier statements about why this deal is a good idea for the public. And buried in those new answers is the nugget that post-merger, AT&T plans to bring fiber networks to almost 12 million customers… kind of. [More]

Report: AT&T, DirecTV Merger Likely To Be Approved By Justice Dept. With No Conditions

Report: AT&T, DirecTV Merger Likely To Be Approved By Justice Dept. With No Conditions


It’s been over a year since AT&T and DirecTV publicly announced their intention to become one big happy mega-media company, and the two are clearly getting a little restless waiting for their approvals. However, it looks like they are about to get the green light they so badly want. [More]

AT&T, CBS Make Nice And Sign New Contract, Avoiding Network Blackout

AT&T, CBS Make Nice And Sign New Contract, Avoiding Network Blackout

In a nice change for consumers, a content company and a distribution company managed to save everyone the rigamarole of a blackout and a finger-pointing yell-a-thon when they instead settled their differences and negotiated a new contract hours after the old one expired. [More]

Root Sports Pittsburgh is one of several regional sports networks owned by DirecTV.

Smaller Cable Companies Concerned About AT&T/DirecTV Merger’s Impact On Prices For Regional Sports Networks

As we’ve seen with the ongoing locals sports broadcasting messes in Houston, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia, pay-TV operators with exclusive regional and team-specific networks sometimes put too high a price on their content, meaning other providers can’t afford to carry these stations and large swaths of fans are left in the dark. And a trade group representing small and midsize cable operators are worried that this problem may only get worse without certain conditions being put on the pending $49 billion merger of AT&T and DirecTV. [More]

AT&T Faces $100M Fine Over “Unlimited” Data Plans

AT&T Faces $100M Fine Over “Unlimited” Data Plans

Last year, the Federal Trade Commission sued AT&T over its alleged failure to disclose to subscribers of “unlimited” data plans that their data might actually be throttled. The future of that case is in limbo right now, but today the Federal Communications Commission announced its intention to fine AT&T $100 million over its unlimited data plans. [More]

Comcast Accused Of Deliberately Sabotaging Houston Sports Channel

Comcast Accused Of Deliberately Sabotaging Houston Sports Channel

Comcast Sportsnet Houston, which had exclusive access to Houston Rockets and Houston Astros games, was on the air less than a year when it was forced to declare bankruptcy in 2013. Not even a year later, the station — once valued at $700 million — was sold off to a joint venture of DirecTV and AT&T for a whopping $1,000. A new lawsuit accuses the cable company of deliberately submarining CSN Houston. [More]

Appeals Court Won’t Hold Up Enforcement Of Net Neutrality Rules

Appeals Court Won’t Hold Up Enforcement Of Net Neutrality Rules

A number of lawsuits filed by telecom and cable companies and their associated trade groups in recent weeks had hoped that the court would block the FCC from enforcing the new net neutrality rules that are slated to kick in tomorrow, June 12. But with the clock ticking to reach that deadline, a federal appeals court has denied this request, meaning that the Open Internet Order will go into effect (at least until lawmakers do their best to de-fund it). [More]

Report: AT&T Wireless Program To Let Subscribers Get Free Data From Advertisers

Report: AT&T Wireless Program To Let Subscribers Get Free Data From Advertisers

Data is a precious resource for mobile consumers and the wireless companies that serve them. The two are always in a trade-off: data caps, overage pricing, unlimited plans, zero-rating… there are loads of different iterations (and shenanigans) in that sphere. And now, reports indicate AT&T might be trying out a new one. [More]

(Matthew Hunt)

RadioShack, AT&T, And Verizon Come To Agreement Over Customer Data

When quasi-relevant electronics retailer RadioShack declared bankruptcy earlier this year, one worry for consumer advocates was that the company would sell the bushels of consumer data that it has collected on people while selling them batteries. The new owners of the RadioShack brand, General Wireless, agreed to strict terms for consumer data, which now includes segregating data from purchases of AT&T and Verizon Wireless merchandise. [More]

AT&T Exec Says Wireless Companies Soon Won’t Be Footing Bill For Customers’ Devices

AT&T Exec Says Wireless Companies Soon Won’t Be Footing Bill For Customers’ Devices

During the first decade-plus of the 21st century cellphone boom, most of us paid only a fraction of the full retail price for our phones because the wireless companies were willing to pick up the rest in exchange for locking us into 2-year contracts. But with more service providers pushing subscribers into plans that have them paying full price for their devices, the days of getting a new $650 phone for only $200 are quickly fading into memory. [More]