(Great Beyond)

FCC Pauses Review Of Both Media Mega-Mergers Because Content Companies Won’t Share Confidential Info

The slowly-turning wheel of the approvals process for two big media mergers has temporarily ground to a halt, as the FCC today announced delays in their reviews of both AT&T’s planned acquisition of DirecTV and also the Comcast/Time Warner Cable union. The delays in both proceedings stem from the same core issue: media content companies who don’t want their rivals to learn their secrets. [More]

(Ash)

Cable Lobbyists Pretending To Be Cool Digital Hipsters To Convince Youth That Net Neutrality Is Bad

The fight for net neutrality has players from all corners amped up and joining in. Millions of individuals, as well as consumer advocacy groups, internet businesses, internet business groups, cable and telecom businesses, and their trade groups, have all been pressing the FCC toward one decision or another. But now there are some new groups wading in to the morass. They look like millennial, digital-savvy, pro-internet hispters — but their message is straight out of Comcast and AT&T’s playbook. So what’s going on? [More]

AT&T To Pay $105 Million To Settle Wireless Bill-Cramming Charges

(Mike Mozart)

In a few minutes, the Federal Trade Commission, the FCC and attorneys general from 50 states and the District of Columbia will announce a $105 million deal with AT&T that settles allegations that the company has profited off the practice known as “bill-cramming,” third-party charges illegally placed on customers’ wireless bills without authorization. [More]

T-Mobile's John Legere is sick of everyone lusting after his wireless business.

T-Mobile CEO “Sick And Tired” Of Takeover Talk

T-Mobile has long been considered a juicy, low-hanging magenta fruit that some bigger company could pick off and devour. But after years of being wooed by suitors from the Death Star, Japan, and France, T-Mobile CEO John Legere says it’s time to stop talking about his company being acquired by someone else. [More]

AT&T Apologizes For Now Ex-Employee Who Accessed Customer Data “Inappropriately”

AT&T Apologizes For Now Ex-Employee Who Accessed Customer Data “Inappropriately”

AT&T has issued an apology letter and says it’s fired an employee who tapped into customer information this year, writing to those affected and explaining that the worker accessed accounts in August 2014. While doing so, that person might have viewed and obtained account information including social security numbers and driver’s license numbers. [More]

NFL Sunday Ticket To Remain A DirecTV Exclusive

NFL Sunday Ticket To Remain A DirecTV Exclusive

Millions of football fans now have a reason to not ditch DirecTV. After months of negotiations, the satellite service has finally renewed its deal to be the exclusive carrier for NFL Sunday Ticket. [More]

AT&T: Half Of New Phone Buyers Are Choosing Next Plans

AT&T: Half Of New Phone Buyers Are Choosing Next Plans

When you see AT&T advertising the hottest new phones as being available for “$0 down,” that’s if you opt for the early upgrade/installment payments plan called AT&T Next. While stock analysts (and, we’re guessing, AT&T itself) expected the program to be a huge hit, the prospect of getting a $15/month discount and paying full sticker price for a smartphone just isn’t tempting to the average consumer. [More]

(Mike Mozart)

AT&T, Where “Congestion” & Data Caps Only Apply To Existing Users

Ever since AT&T and Verizon got rid of unlimited wireless plans, both companies have used the questionable excuse of “congestion,” claiming that throttling data after remaining unlimited users pass an arbitrary threshold was necessary to keep data flowing. But in plans announced over the weekend, AT&T is effectively once again offering unlimited data (for a limited time) to new customers, which makes one wonder — what happened to all that congestion? [More]

DirecTV Shareholders Sign Off On AT&T Merger

DirecTV Shareholders Sign Off On AT&T Merger

While the rest of the world waits for regulators in D.C. to decide if AT&T and DirecTV should be allowed to live together in wedded bliss, one group of people has already given their blessing to the deal. [More]

AT&T and Verizon: Data Caps On Home Internet Service Are Great For Everyone (Especially Us)

AT&T and Verizon: Data Caps On Home Internet Service Are Great For Everyone (Especially Us)

Verizon and AT&T are big players (and getting bigger) in broadband landline service, but they seem to take a mobile phone mindset with them everywhere they go. Not only do they think that home broadband doesn’t need to be faster than your phone, but also now they’re saying that data caps on your home internet use are perfectly reasonable, too. [More]

The Only Way To Avoid Paying A Fee For iPhone Upgrade Is To Pay Full Price

The Only Way To Avoid Paying A Fee For iPhone Upgrade Is To Pay Full Price

Earlier this week, we looked at the various offers being thrown out by the four major wireless carriers in their attempts to attract people switching to the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus. What was left out of that discussion — and which seems to be catching a number of customers by surprise today — is that some of them must pay a fee to upgrade. [More]

AT&T Promises 15Mbps Wireless Broadband To Rural Customers After DirecTV Merger

AT&T Promises 15Mbps Wireless Broadband To Rural Customers After DirecTV Merger

AT&T has dangled a big carrot out there in its attempt to lead regulators to sign off on the company’s merger with DirecTV. If the deal happens, AT&T says it could bring 15Mbps wireless data service (bundled with satellite TV of course) to rural America in 2015. [More]

Your Guide To The Major Carriers’ iPhone 6 Offers

Your Guide To The Major Carriers’ iPhone 6 Offers

Apple announced a couple of new phones yesterday, triggering a Pavlovian response in some consumers that can only be eased by the acquisition of one of these new phones. It also pits the four national wireless carriers against each other in a battle for Apple-hungry customers. [More]

AT&T and Verizon: Your Home Network Doesn’t Actually Need To Be As Fast As Your Phone

AT&T and Verizon: Your Home Network Doesn’t Actually Need To Be As Fast As Your Phone

The FCC has been all about broadband this year. In the mix with net neutrality and the Comcast/TWC merger, they’re also taking on the dearth of broadband competition consumers face and even thinking about redefining the meaning of the term to a higher minimum network speed. But AT&T and Verizon aren’t having it: according to comments they’ve filed with the FCC, a wired network connection too slow for a solid Netflix connection, and slower than the 4G your phone uses, should be perfectly satisfactory for a bandwidth-hungry nation. [More]

Amazon Now Selling Fire Phone For $.99 With New Contract

Amazon Now Selling Fire Phone For $.99 With New Contract

It hasn’t even been two months since Amazon released its not-quite-3D Fire phone and it’s already slashed the price on the device like it’s a 3-year-old feature phone, announcing this morning that the Fire can be had for $.99 to customers willing to sign a two-year contract with AT&T. [More]

GameStop Gets Even Closer To AT&T, Offers Cricket Wireless Service In All Stores

GameStop Gets Even Closer To AT&T, Offers Cricket Wireless Service In All Stores

Over the past year, GameStop has revamped itself to stay relevant: offering trade-ins for unwanted gift cards, uploading customers fingerprints to the national database and acting as a sort-of bank for some customers. Now, the retailer is further entering all facets of consumer life by selling Cricket Wireless prepaid services at all locations. [More]

Why Isn’t America Freaking Out About AT&T/DirecTV Merger — And Should We Be?

Why Isn’t America Freaking Out About AT&T/DirecTV Merger — And Should We Be?

While pretty much everyone is scrutinizing the pending mega-merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable, not much attention is being paid to the possible marriage of the country’s second-largest wireless and pay-TV companies. And that leaves us with two big questions: What, if anything, makes these two mergers so different? And should we be more worried about a unified AT&T and DirecTV than we are? [More]

AT&T: Municipal Broadband Should Be Banned Anywhere Private Companies Might Want To Do Business Later

AT&T: Municipal Broadband Should Be Banned Anywhere Private Companies Might Want To Do Business Later

It’s no secret that AT&T and other big ISPs are no fans of municipal broadband projects. There are laws on the books in many states that block the expansion of municipal networks, but the FCC is considering using its authority to override those laws and let communities build networks if they wish. AT&T is also no fan of this proposal. In fact, says AT&T, not only should public networks be barred anywhere there is already a private option, but also they should be barred in any place there might possibly be a plan to build a private option in the future. [More]