AT&T to Lawmakers: We Can't Promise Lower Prices with DirecTV Merger
June 25, 2014 1:30 PM
comment(s) - last by
It hopes cost savings will find their way into prices
of DirecTV has many feeling skeptical due to the possibility of higher prices and fewer choices for consumers, and the telecom company's latest remarks in hearings with lawmakers didn't seem to ease that skepticism.
, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson told lawmakers at hearings in the House of Representatives and the Senate that he can't promise lower prices for consumers "dollar-for-dollar" in the way of savings from lower content fees.
However, he does see potential savings in other forms.
"One would have to believe in the market and the market pressures, and that market pressures will compete margins away and cost savings will find their way into prices," said Stephenson.
DirecTV CEO Michael White added that savings could possibly be seen in the way of value bundles, but that committing to lower prices is difficult because of current content prices.
Both companies agree that a merger would allow them to provide rural areas with better Internet services and compete with cable companies.
But many are still concerned about what such a merger means for competition in the cable market, since both AT&T and DirecTV are in the same business.
The Justice Department and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will ultimately decide the fate of the merger.
AT&T and DirecTV announced their $48.5 billion USD merger just last month.
The merger comes at a sensitive time when consumers, lawmakers and the tech industry are still dealing with
Comcast's $45 billion USD purchase
of Time Warner Cable.
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Cost going down... don't make me laugh
6/26/2014 5:48:38 PM
With the majority of the public remaining captive to a single market cable provider, there simply is no market motivation to lower prices for pay television. Cable effectively ignores satellite TV and is doing fine. If AT&T and DirecTV see any savings from such a merger it'll just go straight to their bottom line and increase their profits. Nothing is occurring in the market place to force any price decreases.
And if these two companies would merge, at best prices would stay the same, but with decreased competition you have to assume prices would increase.
"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007
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