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US: AT&T tells congress Time Warner Deal will help competing with cable

 |  December 6, 2016

AT&T Chief Executive Officer Randall Stephenson told Congress his company’s planned $85.4 billion purchase of HBO and CNN owner Time Warner will help the telecommunications provider challenge cable companies for customers.

The deal also may hasten AT&T’s development of faster 5G wireless service to deliver its newly acquired video content, Stephenson said in testimony submitted to the US Senate Judiciary antitrust subcommittee for a hearing Wednesday.

“Together, AT&T and Time Warner will disrupt the entrenched pay-TV models,” said Stephenson, whose company serves 133 million US wireless customers and 25 million video subscribers. Consumers want to “watch their favorite video content anytime, anywhere,” Stephenson said.

Time Warner Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Bewkes said in his submitted testimony that the combination will allow faster moves toward new channel packages delivered over the internet.

The deal needs to be carefully reviewed and possibly blocked because it poses a danger of harming competition, leading to higher costs and fewer choices for video services, Gene Kimmelman, a former antitrust regulator who is president of the policy group Public Knowledge, said in submitted testimony.

Full Content: Bloomberg

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