AT&T


'AT&T' Articles

U.S. Department of Justice Files Appeal to Block AT&T and Time Warner Merger

A month after a judge approved AT&T's $85.4 billion purchase of Time Warner with no conditions, the United States Department of Justice has announced plans to appeal the merger's approval. In a court document filed with the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, the DoJ announced its formal appeal. No additional data was included in the initial document.Notice is hereby given that the United States of America, plaintiff in the above named case, appeals to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit from the final judgment entered in this action on June 12, 2018.AT&T first announced its plan to purchase Time Warner in late 2017, but the acquisition was put on hold when the DoJ filed a lawsuit to put a stop to the merger based on the grounds that it would result in higher bills and fewer options for consumers. A judge in June, however, ruled that the merger was legal, and while the Justice Department said it was disappointed in the court's ruling and would consider its next steps "in light of [its] commitment to preserving competition for the benefit of American consumers," it ultimately decided not to interfere with a stay at the time that the ruling was announced. Just days after the judge's approval, AT&T completed its acquisition of Time Warner, but the DoJ is still able to appeal the decision even after the completion of the merger. Shortly after the acquisition, AT&T announced a new WatchTV service that offers AT&T wireless subscribers under the new "AT&T Unlimited &More" and "AT&T Unlimited &More Premium"

AT&T and Warner Media Leadership Outline Changes Coming to HBO Over the Next Year

On June 19, former AT&T executive and new chief executive of Warner Media John Stankey spoke to a group of HBO employees about changes coming to the premium cable company in the near future. The discussion was held in the wake of AT&T's acquisition of Time Warner, which owns HBO, and also included HBO's chief executive officer Richard Plepler. The telecommunications company previously stated that it would take a "hands-off approach" to running HBO, but The New York Times this weekend reported on Stankey's speech and it sounds like that might not be the case. According to a video of the discussion, Stankey explained Warner Media's intent to align HBO more alongside streaming companies like Netflix in order to increase its subscriber base, although he refrained from referencing Netflix by name. This means creating more content that releases at a faster pace, in comparison to HBO's current stable of limited Sunday night-focused shows. According to Stankey, the goal is to increase the hours per day viewers watch HBO, which is currently less than rivals like Netflix and Hulu because of HBO's smaller catalog. “We need hours a day,” Mr. Stankey said, referring to the time viewers spend watching HBO programs. “It’s not hours a week, and it’s not hours a month. We need hours a day. You are competing with devices that sit in people’s hands that capture their attention every 15 minutes.” Continuing this thread, Stankey specifically stated that more hours of user engagement means that Warner Media can "get more data and information" to monetize through advertisements and new

AT&T's New Live 'WatchTV' Service Launches on iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV

One week after unveiling its new live streaming service "WatchTV," AT&T has now begun rolling out the platform's app on fourth-generation and fifth-generation Apple TV boxes, as well as on iOS [Direct Link] (via BestAppleTV). The service is a free add-on for anyone on AT&T's new "Unlimited &More" and "Unlimited &More Premium" cellular plans, and is also available as a $15/month service for everyone else. Like a few other live TV platforms, WatchTV includes just over 30 channels that you can stream live, including breaking news and film channels (but not sports). The service has 15,000 titles available to watch on demand, and subscribers to AT&T's new &More Premium phone plan will be able to add one of several premium services for no extra charge: HBO, SHOWTIME, Cinemax, Starz, Amazon Music Unlimited, Pandora Premium, or VRV. The full list of channels on WatchTV includes: A&E AMC Animal Planet Audience BBC World News BBC America Boomerang Cartoon Network CNN Discovery Food Network FYI Hallmark Channel Hallmark Movies & Mysteries HGTV HistoryHLN IFC Investigation Discovery Lifetime Lifetime Movies OWN Sundance TV TBS TCM TLC TNT TRU TV Velocity Viceland WE TVChannels coming soon after launch include: BET Comedy Central MTV 2 Nicktoons Teennick VH1 Users can stream on up to two devices at the same time, but WatchTV does not have a cloud DVR feature or any local news stations. Other than tvOS and iOS, the app is out now on Android, Amazon Fire TV, and Google Chromecast. WatchTV is a direct result of AT&T's acquisition of Time

AT&T Fined $5.25M for Two 911 Outages that Affected 15,000+ Emergency Calls

AT&T is paying the Federal Communications Commission a $5.25 million fine to settle an investigation into a pair of 2017 outages that blocked over 15,000 people from making 911 calls. According to the FCC [PDF], during a five hour outage on March 8, 2017, 12,600 unique users across the United States saw their emergency 911 calls fail, while during a 47 minute outage on May 1, 2017, 2,600 users had 911 calls fail. The outages, which impacted AT&T's Voice over LTE network used by many modern smartphones, were caused by planned network changes that were implemented on those days that inadvertently interfered with the routing of 911 calls. During the March outage, the FCC says that AT&T also failed to "quickly, clearly, and fully notify" affected 911 call centers. These kinds of outages are "unacceptable" and according to the FCC, carriers have a responsibility to both prevent outages and in the event of an outage, notify call centers immediately.Such preventable outages are unacceptable. Robust and reliable 911 service is a national priority, as repeatedly expressed by both Congress and the Commission. Carriers have a responsibility to both prevent outages and, if they do take place, quickly inform the Commission and affected 911 call centers. FCC rules mandate that mobile phone service providers "transmit all wireless 911 calls" and inform 911 call centers of any 911 network outage that lasts 30 minutes or more.In addition to paying a $5.25 million fine to end the investigation, AT&T is also required to implement "proactive system changes" to reduce the likelihood

AT&T More Than Doubles Administrative Fee for Wireless Customers

AT&T has raised the amount of the "administrative fee" that it charges many of its 64.5 million wireless customers, a move that will earn the company an additional $800 million in annual revenue. The fee hike was first noticed by BTIG Research analyst Walter Piecyk (via CNBC), who pointed out that AT&T has increased its monthly fees by approximately $1.23 in 2018 with two price hikes in April and June. Customers are now paying $1.99 in administrative fees, up from 76 cents last year. Approximately 85 percent of AT&T's customers have seen the fee hike, as it applies to all postpaid accounts. Prepaid customers are not required to pay the administrative fee. Prior to the doubling of the fee, it hadn't changed much since AT&T introduced it in 2013, going from 61 cents to 76 cents over a period of several years. Piecyk speculates that AT&T has increased the fee to offset the debt incurred by its recent $85.4 billion purchase of Time Warner. "Presumably the Administrative Fee is another way to help AT&T fund its network build and Time Warner acquisition going forward," he wrote. In a statement to CNBC, however, AT&T said that the fee is standard across the wireless industry: "This is a standard administrative fee across the wireless industry, which helps cover costs we incur for items like cell site maintenance and interconnection between carriers." Earlier in June, AT&T also raised the price of its grandfathered unlimited data plans by $5 per month. That plan, which was originally priced at $30, is now

AT&T Follows Time Warner Acquisition With Reveal of Live 'WatchTV' Service and New Unlimited Phone Plans

One week after completing its acquisition of Time Warner, AT&T today announced the impending launch of an all-new live TV service called "WatchTV," which unsurprisingly includes many channels under the Time Warner umbrella (via Engadget). This appears to be the service not focused on sports that AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said in April would be coming very soon. The announcement came alongside AT&T's reveal of two new unlimited wireless plans, called "AT&T Unlimited &More" and "AT&T Unlimited &More Premium." WatchTV will be directly tied into these cellular plans, offering plan subscribers access to the TV service at no additional cost. The service includes 30+ live channels, over 15,000 TV shows and movies on demand, and will be available on "virtually every" smartphone, tablet, browser, and streaming device. Subscribers to &More Premium will be able to add one of several premium services for no extra charge: HBO, SHOWTIME, Cinemax, Starz, Amazon Music Unlimited, Pandora Premium, or VRV. Here's the full list of channels available on WatchTV at launch: A&E AMC Animal Planet Audience BBC World News BBC America Boomerang Cartoon Network CNN Discovery Food Network FYI Hallmark Channel Hallmark Movies & Mysteries HGTV HistoryHLN IFC Investigation Discovery Lifetime Lifetime Movies OWN Sundance TV TBS TCM TLC TNT TRU TV Velocity Viceland WE TVChannels coming soon after launch include: BET Comedy Central MTV 2 Nicktoons Teennick VH1 The &More Premium plan (starting at $80/month for an individual line) offers WatchTV, a premium

AT&T Launches Father's Day 'Buy One, Get One' iPhone X Deal

AT&T has launched a new Father's Day deal for the next few days, offering new and existing customers who purchase an iPhone X as an upgrade or a new line a second iPhone X at no additional cost as long as it's for a new line. Customers will need to finance both iPhone X devices via AT&T Next 30 or AT&T Next Every Year, but within three billing cycles they will begin receiving bill credits totaling up to $999.99 spread out over 30 months. Tax on the full cost of both phones is due at the time of purchase, and the deal runs through June 19. AT&T's product pages aren't yet reflecting the full $999.99 promo for the iPhone X, but the deal is live and will be applied at the end of the checkout process. AT&T has been offering a similar BOGO deal on the iPhone 8 as well as a $0 iPhone SE offer, and those deals continue to be valid for a limited time. On the internet and TV service side, AT&T is also continuing to offer Visa Reward Cards with the purchase of new services: $50 for internet, $200 for DirecTV, or $250 for a bundle of both. Full offer details are on AT&T's site. And as always, head over to our Deals Roundup for all of the latest sales and bargains. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with AT&T. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a payment which helps us keep the site running.

AT&T Completes Acquisition of Time Warner

AT&T this afternoon announced that it has completed its acquisition of Time Warner, just two days after a U.S. District Court Judge ruled that the merger could move forward. "The content and creative talent at Warner Bros., HBO and Turner are first-rate. Combine all that with AT&T's strengths in direct-to-consumer distribution, and we offer customers a differentiated, high-quality, mobile-first entertainment experience," said Randall Stephenson, chairman and CEO of AT&T Inc. "We're going to bring a fresh approach to how the media and entertainment industry works for consumers, content creators, distributors and advertisers."The news comes after the United States Justice Department said that it would not seek a stay to stop the merger from happening. The DoJ can, however, appeal the decision if it chooses to do so even after the completion of the merger. In a statement earlier this week, the DoJ said it believes that the merger between the two companies will make the pay TV market "less competitive and less innovative." AT&T's purchase of Time Warner had been on hold since November, when the Justice Department filed a lawsuit to put a stop to it based on the argument that it would lead to higher bills and fewer options for consumers. AT&T's successful acquisition of Time Warner and the judge's ruling in favor of the two companies has already had an impact on the television market, with Comcast moving forward with a $65 billion all-cash offer for Fox's

Verizon Named 2018's Fastest Mobile Network in PCMag's Annual Carrier Showdown

Verizon Wireless was awarded the title of the fastest nationwide mobile network in PCMag's annual mobile network comparison, the results of which were released this morning. For its test, PCMag analysts drove within and between 30 cities in the United States to test mobile network speeds using four Samsung Galaxy S9 phones. More than a dozen locations in each city were tested, with the site gathering more than 124,000 data points to reach its conclusion. Scores were calculated taking into account metrics like download speed, upload speed, latency, reliability, and consistency. Verizon was named the overall fastest network after it won or tied in 19 of the 36 cities that were tested across the United States, marking Verizon's 5th annual victory. Verizon won out in almost every region (Northeast, North Central, South Central, Northwest, and Southwest), with the exception of the Southeast, where T-Mobile was determined to be the fastest network. T-Mobile was also named the second fastest network overall, followed by AT&T and then Sprint. PCMag says that compared to its 2017 results, it saw faster, more consistent LTE connections across all four major U.S. carriers in the 2018 test. In the future, we should see some interesting results as mobile networks are upgraded to 5G. AT&T and Verizon are both aiming for higher speeds in smaller areas, while T-Mobile is aiming for nationwide 5G coverage but at slower speeds. In addition to determining the fastest mobile carrier in 2018, PCMag also took a look at Speedtest Intelligence results pulled from Ookla to

AT&T Raising Price of Grandfathered Unlimited Data Plans to $45 Per Month

AT&T is again raising the price for grandfathered unlimited smartphone data plans by $5 per month, according to a support article on the carrier's website and multiple tipsters who emailed us today. The price hike will be effective this July, and notifications appear to have started hitting the first wave of grandfathered unlimited plan users over the past few days. In the article, AT&T says that any customer who has a grandfathered $40 data plan will soon begin seeing an email about the $5 per month price increase. Multiple tipsters have already gotten such notifications, and one -- MacRumors forum user jav6454 -- says that his grandfathered unlimited data plan was originally bought for $30 around the time of the iPhone 3G. The last time a $5/month increase happened was in March 2017, raising grandfathered plans from $35 to $40, and followed an increase from $30 to $35 in February 2016. AT&T originally discontinued unlimited plans in 2010 and didn't introduce new unlimited plans again until 2017. In its explanation, AT&T says that "record levels" of mobile data use have led to the decision to increase the monthly cost of legacy data plans: Consumers are using mobile data at record levels and the trend is expected to continue. To help make sure we continue to provide the best service for all of our customers, a small price increase is being made at this time. Customers who have a grandfathered $40 data plan will receive notifications of a $5 per month rate increase for the data plan. The rate increase will take effect starting with the customer’s July,

AT&T Reveals $15/Month Streaming Service Without Sports, Launching 'in the Next Few Weeks'

AT&T is planning to add a new streaming service to its lineup called "AT&T Watch," priced at a low cost of $15 per month with the removal of all sports channels. The service will be one of the cheapest streaming bundles available on the market, and will even be free for AT&T wireless subscribers on unlimited plans (via The Wall Street Journal and Variety). As of now not much else is known about AT&T Watch, including exactly what channels will be on offer, what platforms it will launch on, or even a specific launch date besides "in the next few weeks." When it does debut, the service will undercut Sling TV's cheapest $20/month streaming tier, and be more of a competitor to Philo's $16/month option, which predominantly advertises itself as the over-the-top bundle for people who don't watch sports. The upcoming skinny bundle was announced yesterday by AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson, during his time on the witness stand where he defended his company's intent to acquire Time Warner. Stephenson mentioned AT&T Watch after the Justice Department argued that AT&T continuously raises prices for traditional DirecTV subscribers, reportedly "emphasizing" the new service and DirecTV Now's entry level $35/month tier, "while acknowledging price increases for traditional DirecTV subscribers." Often speaking directly to the judge, Stephenson testified on the origins and rationale for the merger, but his examination also veered into other topics, like an email exchange he had with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg following last year’s Allen & Co. Sun Valley conference. He even revealed a

DirecTV Now Extends Apple TV 4K Deal with 3-Months Prepaid Service Through April

Over the past few months, DirecTV Now have been offering a great deal for anyone interested in the Apple TV 4K. The offer stipulates that when new subscribers prepay for three months of DirecTV Now at $105, they can get a 32GB Apple TV 4K at no additional cost. It was believed that the company would remove the deal at the end of March -- or revert back to the original offer to prepay for four months at $140 -- but now that a new month has rolled around it appears that the offer should be available through the end of April. DirecTV Now introduced this new, lower-cost offer back in February and it has remained the best sale price for a brand-new 32GB Apple TV 4K since then. Although eBay and retailers like Adorama and B&H Photo sometimes have sales, the 32GB Apple TV 4K's normal price is $180 on Apple.com. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with DirecTV Now. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. The offer's $105 price tag calculates the cost of three months of DirecTV Now's "Live a Little" $35/month plan, which includes around 60+ live channels. On the Apple TV app, users can stream live TV and watch on-demand shows, and sometime this spring they'll be able to record content to DirecTV Now's long-promised cloud-based DVR. To take advantage of the sale, follow these steps: Visit DirecTVNow.com's landing page for the deal Click "Redeem & Stream" Select the "Live a Little" package to get the Apple TV at the lowest possible price Choose if you want to add premium channel add-ons, or

AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon Detail Plans for 'Next-Generation Mobile Authentication Platform'

Last September, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile announced a team-up with the mission of developing a mobile authentication solution for both businesses and consumers. One of the main reasons the carriers created the "Mobile Authentication Taskforce" was to help users who have to manage "dozens of difficult-to-remember passwords" for numerous apps. Today at Mobile World Congress, the taskforce has revealed more details about its upcoming platform, and set a launch date for later in 2018. AT&T said the solution will create a cryptographically verified phone number and "unique profile" that's specific to the user's smartphone or tablet, strengthened by processing attributes such as a network verified mobile number, IP address, SIM card attributes, phone number tenure, phone account type, and more. The solution will only work with apps authorized by the taskforce, and at the consent of the user. The companies' combined resources will further analyze data and activity patterns on a mobile network to predict, "with a high degree of certainty," whether the user is who they say they are.Formed last year to develop a mobile authentication solution to help protect enterprises and consumers from identity theft, bank fraud, fraudulent purchases and data theft, the Mobile Authentication Taskforce has dedicated resources developing a highly secure and trusted multi-factor authentication platform powered by the carrier networks. The taskforce vision includes interoperability with GSMA's Mobile Connect technology. To confirm a user's identity and allow them entry into their

AT&T Announces City-Specific Offers for Free DirecTV Now, Internet, and BOGO iPhones

AT&T today announced a series of deals launching this Thursday, March 1 that will be available only for customers in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. The offers vary from city to city, and the carrier noted that each one will last for a "limited time" only. The city-specific deals are debuting alongside the launch of AT&T's new Unlimited Plus Enhanced and Unlimited Choice Enhanced plans, and most of them tie in with the new plans. Users everywhere in the United States will be able to sign up for one of the new Unlimited plans, but AT&T is launching offers for three select cities -- "tailored" to its customers in each -- as a way to encourage sign ups for the plans in these locations. AT&T detailed some information on each plan, seen in the quote below, and there's a new support article on ATT.com with a deeper breakdown. One of the major new updates comes to the Unlimited Plus plan, which is $80 for the first line, down from the current price of $90, and now comes with 15GB of hotspot data, an increase from 10GB. The carrier is also offering a $15 loyalty video credit applicable to DirecTV, U-Verse, or DirecTV Now. On AT&T Unlimited Plus Enhanced the first line starts at only $80, and you’ll get 15GB of mobile hotspot data per line on the plan. And on AT&T Unlimited Choice Enhanced unlimited 4G LTE data is only $40 a line when you have 4 lines. These enhanced wireless plans come with a $15 loyalty credit towards applicable AT&T video services Regarding the city-specific offers, New York users will get one year of DirecTV Now for free when switching to either

DirecTV Now's Revamped Interface and Cloud DVR Features to Debut This Spring

During its fourth quarter earnings report this afternoon, AT&T shared release details (via Engadget) for its next-generation DirecTV Now video streaming platform, which will be a major revamp of the existing service. When the update rolls out this spring, DirecTV Now subscribers will gain access to a new cloud DVR feature, allowing them to record and access their shows from anywhere. DirecTV Now will also be gaining an entirely new interface to provide a "consistent look and feel" across all of the company's consumer video services, and subscribers will be able to stream to one additional device concurrently. DirecTV Now subscribers have had access to the cloud DVR features in a beta capacity since late 2017, but it will be launching officially in the spring. AT&T said in December that additional features are planned for DirecTV Now, including support for 4K video, individual profiles, and more on-demand titles. According to AT&T, DirecTV Now has a total of 1.2 million subscribers, with the company gaining 368,000 new subscribers during the fourth quarter of

AT&T Launches $35 Smart Wi-Fi Extender to Boost Coverage by Up To 1,000 Square Feet

AT&T has launched the "AT&T Smart Wi-Fi Extender," a device built to enable a stronger and more consistent Wi-Fi signal throughout your home. AT&T's product is one box that keeps devices connected to the internet as you move from one room to another, and customers can purchase additional boxes for bigger homes. The Smart Wi-Fi Extender is designed for customers with an AT&T internet subscription who have Wi-Fi gateways 5268AC or BGW210, boosting coverage by up to 1,000 square feet and reducing network congestion. The company said that it automatically selects the "best and fastest available connection" for every device that you connect to the internet within your home. AT&T created the extender in partnership with AirTies. The company priced the Smart Wi-Fi Extender at $34.99, and said it offers the same Wi-Fi boosting abilities of competitive mesh systems "that cost hundreds of dollars." It appears that the Wi-Fi Extender was available for some AT&T customers to purchase ahead of the wider launch this week. That’s why we are introducing the new AT&T Smart Wi-Fi Extender – a state-of-the-art device that gives you the strongest Wi-Fi signal throughout your entire home. Its mesh technology keeps your devices connected as you move around, so you experience a seamless connection everywhere. Now you can stream, download, surf, and work on your devices anywhere, worry free. No dropped connection as you step into the backyard. No more interruptions or watching the football freeze in mid-air. The 4-inch box is a 1600Mbps dual-band concurrent wireless access point and

AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile Tout Boosted Cellular Capacity Across Twin Cities in Anticipation of Super Bowl LII

In November, AT&T shared its plans to launch its "5G Evolution" network -- which isn't true 5G -- in select areas of Minneapolis as part of its overall plan to boost cellular coverage in the city during Super Bowl LII. This week, three of the major United States cellular carriers -- AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile -- each outlined their own plans to ensure that customers retain quality coverage in the Twin Cities on the weekend of February 4. U.S. Bank Stadium via Darb02 / Wikimedia Commons AT&T said its users can expect "a better mobile experience" in the city, with technology it's been working on for over a year that combines both permanent and temporary upgrades to the carrier's cellular connectivity. The company's $40 million investment in its Minneapolis wireless network boost includes coverage within the U.S. Bank Stadium (where the game will take place), as well as outside the stadium in hotels, airports, and other venues that will see increased traffic in a few weeks. AT&T's upgrades:Upgraded in-stadium Distributed Antenna System (DAS) offering "nearly 220% more LTE capacity." More than 800 hidden antennas in the stadium to help manage wireless traffic. DAS installed at 16 total locations in Minneapolis. 10 Cell on Wheels (COWs, or temporary towers) deployed to further support reliability of AT&T's network. 5G Evolution with 256 QAM, 4x4 MIMO, and 3-way carrier aggregation in select areas on supported smartphones. Verizon predicted a "blizzard" of data usage for the Super Bowl this year, and said it's been working for two years on preparing the

AT&T Announces Plans to Launch Mobile 5G in a Dozen U.S. Markets by Late 2018

Following an expansion of its 5G tests to multiple cities around the United States -- including Minneapolis in time for Super Bowl LII -- AT&T this week announced that it expects to be the first U.S. company to launch mobile 5G services in a "dozen markets" by late 2018. The carrier said that it's "moving fast" to fulfill this promise, but hasn't yet specified which new cities could be reached by the 5G service or how fast the speeds will be. AT&T pointed towards an announcement made last month by international wireless standards body the 3rd Generation Partnership Project, in which the Project confirmed that the global mobile industry is ready to begin "full-scale development of 5G NR (new radio) for large-scale trials and commercial deployments as early as in 2019." AT&T explained that hardware, chipset, and device manufacturers can now start development on 5G technologies, and AT&T can provide mobile 5G services sooner "without compromising its long-term vision." This means that the new network will be a true 5G service, unlike AT&T's previous "5G Evolution" technology that was essentially a rebranded version of LTE. “5G will change the way we live, work and enjoy entertainment,” said Melissa Arnoldi, president, AT&T Technology and Operations. “We’re moving quickly to begin deploying mobile 5G this year and start unlocking the future of connectivity for consumers and businesses. With faster speeds and ultra-low latency, 5G will ultimately deliver and enhance experiences like virtual reality, future driverless cars, immersive 4K video and more.” AT&T's 5G

DirecTV Now Reaches 1M Subscribers While AT&T Continues to Promise DVR, 4K, and More Coming in 2018

AT&T this morning announced that its over-the-top streaming service DirecTV Now has surpassed the one million subscriber mark, with the milestone coming in just a little bit over a year since the service launched on November 30, 2016. DirecTV Now originally debuted only on iOS and Apple TV devices, and continues to promote the Apple TV in offers where new subscribers can pay for four months of service upfront ($140) and get an all-new 32GB Apple TV 4K ($180) for free. In comparison, Sling TV is said to still sit at the top of the OTT streaming service bundle market with about 1.7 million subscribers as of Q3 2017. Around this time, Sling TV was followed by PlayStation Vue (455,000 subscribers), YouTube TV (325,000), Hulu with Live TV (150,000), and FuboTV (100,000), according to research firm Guggenheim Securities (via Variety). At the end of the same quarter this year, AT&T reported about 787,000 people had signed up for DirecTV Now, which has now grown to more than one million in just over two months. "This milestone is an incredible testament to the thousands of hours many people spent working to bring this product online and continually improving it during the past year," said David Christopher, president, AT&T Entertainment Group. "We're thrilled so many customers have come to love DIRECTV NOW and can't wait to bring them a host of new features in 2018." "To reach 1 million subscribers is an important benchmark for any OTT video service, but to go from zero to 1 million subscribers so quickly is quite an achievement," said Brett Sappington, senior director

U.S. Justice Department Files Lawsuit to Block Merger Between AT&T and Time Warner

The United States Justice Department today filed a lawsuit to stop a planned merger between AT&T and Time Warner, reports Bloomberg. The DOJ believes such a merger would result in higher bills and fewer options for consumers."This merger would greatly harm American consumers. It would mean higher monthly television bills and fewer of the new, emerging innovative options that consumers are beginning to enjoy," said Makan Delrahim, the head of the department's antitrust division.According to Bloomberg, this is the first time in several decades that the DOJ has sued to block a vertical deal, aka a merger between two companies that do not directly compete with one another. The lawsuit comes following a request from antitrust head Delrahim that the two companies sell either the Turner broadcasting unit or DirecTV, which AT&T refused to do. Given that the DOJ does not usually step in to block vertical deals, it is unclear how this legal battle will play out in court. Other similar deals, such as Comcast's purchase of NBC Universal, have gone through after certain conditions have been put in place. AT&T and Time Warner have been in talks over a merger since late 2016, with AT&T planning to shell out $85.4 billion for Time Warner. AT&T says the DOJ's lawsuit is a "radical and inexplicable departure from decades of antitrust precedent," and that it is confident the court will reject the claims and allow the merger to proceed. Apple at one time was rumored to be interested in a Time Warner purchase and was said to have monitored the deal between AT&T/Time Warner closely,