The Scum of the Earth: No, This Is Not Comcast Edition

As soon as a particularly gullible judges signed off in its merger with Time Warner, AT&T raised its prices, the exact opposite of what it claimed:

In light of AT&T’s decision to raise the prices on DirecTV Now subscribers by $10/month, and to drop channels like MTV, Comedy Central, BET, and BBC America (while adding more AT&T-owned content to the bundle), it’s worth reviewing some of what the telecom giant claimed during the recent trial over its merger with Time Warner:

[C]onsumer prices will not go up.

Modern antitrust law recognizes that mergers between suppliers, such as Time Warner, and distributors, such as AT&T, almost always create efficiencies and synergies that lead to lower consumer prices and greater innovation.

Vertical integration raises antitrust concerns only in the rare case where the government can prove that the merger will hobble rivals’ ability to check the merged firm’s pricing conduct, thereby allowing the merged firm to raise its own prices above competitive levels.

[T]his merger is likely to enhance competition substantially, because it will enable the merged company to reduce prices.

You can read more for yourself here and here. The rest of AT&T’s arguments were just about as (in)accurate, and it’s not the first time AT&T’s rosy claims have been proved false.

The current standards for antitrust in the US are way too lax.

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