AT&T will now be issuing TV and wireless bills on one combined bill. The bills also includes “special discounts” that aren’t actually discounts on the new and improved bill. AT&T also rolled out a special offer for those wanting DirecTV’s satellite TV service with AT&T’s cellular service.
As Ars Technica notes, new customers have this option:
This offer, available from August 10 until November 14, requires customers to sign a 24-month contract for the DirecTV part of the package. They’ll pay $200 a month for “HD and DVR service for up to four TV receivers, unlimited talk and text for four wireless lines, and 10GB of shareable wireless data.”
Or say someone wants to purchase AT&T TV service and AT&T cellular service. Now, they can bundle it together. It only requires a 12-month contract. Then customers will begin to save up to $600, according to AT&T….just without the actual $600 in savings.
But maybe you simply want to purchase DirecTV standalone service or AT&T TV standalone service. Can you save money with these plans? Of course. As AT&T states, those purchasing either of these standalone services can save anywhere from $540-$636 less then you normally would. Just don’t pay attention to the high price increases after the initial 12 months then eliminate any previous so-called savings.
Essentially, the AT&T/DirecTV merger has given consumers absolutely zero cost savings. There is absolutely nothing new in these offers that couldn’t have been purchased by the different companies before the merger.
Does anyone remember AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson when he spoke to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee before the merger was approved? The merger was going to lower prices and INCREASE competition!
“By integrating DirecTV’s video capabilities with our strength in fixed and mobile broadband delivery, we will create a new competitor with unprecedented capabilities .. What we firmly believe is there will be downward pricing pressure in this industry as we become a more viable competitor.” – Reuters
What happened to those statements? Oh wait, did AT&T lie about the merger benefits? Have you all seen AT&T’s past promises? AT&T has a very long history of lying about deployment numbers so that regulators believe already-planned deployments are only possible if AT&T’s latest and greatest deal is approved.
As the Huffington Post points out, what AT&T did with the DirecTV deal is EXACTLY what they have done in the past with their previous big acquisitions.
By 2007, AT&T should have completed upgrading 100% of their 22 states to broadband, based on the AT&T-BellSouth merger. And in 2004, AT&T told the FCC that it would start deployment of 100 Mbps fiber-to-the-home services. But here’s the problem; the AT&T IP Transition information and the Direct TV merger press release exposes the fact that AT&T never completed the 100% broadband deployment to everyone, even with wireless — and it appears they may have committed perjury by telling the FCC that they had. – Huffington Post
AT&T has already promised regulators that they would have 100% of their footprint completed with high-speed broadband….several times in the past. So how can 15 million locations — at least 20% of all AT&T areas, not already have high speed broadband?
Then there is wireless. When AT&T was trying to acquire T-Mobile, they claimed that unless the merger was approved, they would not be able to cover 97% of the country with LTE coverage! Except, AT&T admitted in other documents that everything about that statement was laughably false. According to an AT&T confidential document, it would only cost AT&T just $3.8 billion to have 97% LTE coverage in the country.