Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Monday, May 19, 2014

AT&T said Sunday that it had agreed to acquire America's biggest satellite television provider, DirecTV, in a deal worth almost $50 billion. If approved by regulators, AT&T-DirecTV would be the country's No. 2 provider of television subscribers behind a combined Comcast-Time Warner Cable. AT&T will pay $48.5 billion for DirecTV in both stock and cash. It will also assume DirecTV debts, meaning the overall value of the deal exceeds $67 billion.

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A changing fickle America. In 1983 the government and Judge Green broke up what was the world premier telecommunications company AT&T. The result has been a huge increase in CEO compensation packages, and hundreds of thousands of high paying jobs along with basic Bell Labs R&D going off shore and the USA served with third rate telecommunications infrastructure. No one is held accountable.

Fast forward to 2014 and whatever big business wants big business gets, regardless of its negative impact to consumers, competition, free market, and on employees.

#1 | Posted by Robson at 2014-05-19 09:13 AM | Reply | Flag:

Usually I would be with you on these kind of deals Robson but in this case the partnership has existed for years without actual ownership so I see no real change to the consumer in making the ownership connection.

Unlike the TWC-Comcast deal which gives one provider a huge control over content this deal really will not change anything. AT&T bundle deals with TV were already DirectTV and if you ordered DirectTV they would try and get you into a triple play partnered with AT&T.

#2 | Posted by TaoWarrior at 2014-05-19 09:40 AM | Reply | Flag:

"The result has been a huge increase in CEO compensation packages, and hundreds of thousands of high paying jobs along with basic Bell Labs R&D going off shore and the USA served with third rate telecommunications infrastructure." - Robson

Without the break up of AT&T we would still be using dialup, and rotary dial phones, and the Internet would be using a proprietary protocol.

Who cares about Bell Labs in the 70's? They didn't make one advancement.

Regarding the merger, and Tao's co-marketing statement. I kind mind all my electronic communications being purchased through one entity. I have automatic billing now, so multiple statements aren't even the inconvenience, the marketers like to state.

IMO, more companies built upon standards is a good thing. The lessens that playing field.

#3 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2014-05-19 10:22 AM | Reply | Flag:

"The lessens..." = This lessens...

#4 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2014-05-19 10:23 AM | Reply | Flag:

' I kind mind all my electronic communications being purchased through one entity.'
#3 | Posted by AndreaMackris

There in lies the problem. I don't and I think it is pretty short sighted reason.

Competition makes the market a better place with better products and lower prices - period. I realize this is a satellite TV deal, but you become too reliant on one entity and no competition means higher prices. The Bells are back to essentially 2 entities - Verizon and ATT. You can pretty much right off Qwest as they server relatively so few people. The new arenas for equivalent relevancy are Cellular and Data. There are basically 4 large players in Cellular with the market being dominated by the 2 biggest - ATT and Verizon. Data to your home? Again few big players in the market but more than cellular.

With Net Neutrality going away and fewer open networks, your access to information will be controlled. Not only that - it also gives the Government fewer places they need to tap and control. I'm not a fear monger - but that is the reality and given the Government's penchant for doing just that - I stand against these big information mergers.

#5 | Posted by GalaxiePete at 2014-05-19 10:43 AM | Reply | Flag:

After 12 months it goes up to $150 Billion.

#6 | Posted by shirtsbyeric at 2014-05-19 12:10 PM | Reply | Flag:

Galaxie and Andrea this deal does not affect either of the points you address.

ATT was only marginally in TV prior to this deal so no effect to competition there, DirectTV was not in data at all no competition effect.

The thing is this deal positions ATT better to compete in the home information market against the cable companies so if anything it actually increases competition at that level not decreases it.

As far as Galaxie goes I agree. However with the minor point that Data to the home is so market driven while there are more players in the market overall your access to those players is limited. I have 2 options ATT which at my home tops at 17 Mbps or TWC which tops at 50 Mbps there are no other choices. So despite all the players in the market nationwide I have effectively 2 choices for data.

#7 | Posted by TaoWarrior at 2014-05-19 12:22 PM | Reply | Flag:

Tao,

I didn't do a great job making my point. That is that when you say bundle your home phone (if you have one), cell, TV and Data from one source you are automatically limiting your information sources. Today that isn't a factor in play but it could quickly become one.

It's up to you and great if you want to, but I want choice. I don't want it to come down to 2 or 3 companies that do that. ATT does have Uverse. They are now around 11.3 million subscribers and growing. TV share is increasing and is around 6 million and growing in a shrinking market segment which stands around a 100 million.

I too also have limited Data Choices - 2 in my area unless I go unconventional routes.

#8 | Posted by GalaxiePete at 2014-05-19 01:01 PM | Reply | Flag:

I don't have TV at all so not really a factor.

Uverse does not always offer TV, in my area it does not. You can get a Uverse triple play with them but it is DirectTV.

As far as limiting your choices yes it does, but much like State Farm gives me a deal for having home and auto with them, Telecoms give discounts for having multiple services which makes it hard to justify splitting your service.

However that said I have yet to see a deal from anyone that would make me package my cell service with any thing else.

#9 | Posted by TaoWarrior at 2014-05-19 01:13 PM | Reply | Flag:

"Fast forward to 2014 and whatever big business wants big business gets, regardless of its negative impact to consumers, competition, free market, and on employees."

#1 | POSTED BY ROBSON

Psssst, Wanna Buy My Corporation?

Robert Marcus became chief of Time Warner Cable on New Year's Day. He immediately reached out to his corporation's biggest rival, Comcast, offering to sell Time Warner Cable to the giant. Only six weeks later, the deal was done.

Why would a CEO rush to eliminate both his corporation and his own job? Perhaps because of a lucrative little provision in the contract he signed to become Time Warner's honcho. It's a CCC -- a "change of control clause."

This is yet another way for CEOs to feather their own nests, for that kind of clause hands a big golden parachute to the top executive of a corporation that gets sold.

In this case, Robert is pocketing $80 million. Yes, that's roughly $1.8 million a day for each of the 44 days he "worked" to sell off the company.

What we have here is a perverse form of incentive pay for corporate chieftains. Rather than rewarding them for out-competing their rivals, a change of control clause encourages CEOs to sidle up to their competitors and whisper: "Psssst, wanna buy my corporation?"

Common Dreams

#10 | Posted by Derek_Wildstar at 2014-05-19 09:56 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

Who cares about Bell Labs in the 70's? They didn't make one advancement.- AndreaMackris

Many of our modern technologies originated in Bell Labs, it was a fantastic science and engineering group. A few choice examples from wikipedia

UNIX
Molecular beam epitaxy
Charge-coupled device
transistor-transistor logic
MOSFET
Initial Laser technology
silica fiber technology

Without all these technologies, you would not be able to type that incredible uninformed sentence above in italics.

#11 | Posted by danv at 2014-05-20 04:07 PM | Reply | Flag:

"Without all these technologies, you would not be able to type that incredible uninformed sentence above in italics."

Good argument against technology.

#12 | Posted by nullifidian at 2014-05-20 04:32 PM | Reply | Flag:

Re #12 - Good point. I actually laughed when I first read it.

#13 | Posted by danv at 2014-05-20 04:52 PM | Reply | Flag:

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