AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) Trial Hears Of Consequences If Turner Networks Go Dark


If Time Warner Inc’s Turner networks were not available, twelve percent of subscribers would have quit their satellite or cable. This according to a marketing professor from Massachusetts Institute of Technology

According to John Hauser, who teaches marketing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and who was the fourth witness called by the U.S. Justice Department in its lawsuit that seeks to block the telecommunications company AT&T’s deal to acquire Time Warner at cost of $85 billion.

The U.S. government has opposed the deal, saying if sealed; the deal will have negative consequences to consumers because AT&T, which also owns pay TV service DirecTV, would raise prices after taking over Time Warner’s Turner networks.

The findings by Hauser are very important to case by the Department of Justice because he has data showing that AT&T, once it takes over Time Warner, would hurts its competitors to appoint of may be leading to a 12 percent drop loss of subscribers. This can happen in the event that AT&T withholds Time Warner when there is a price dispute.

However, Greg Rigdon, executive vice president in charge of content acquisition at Comcast Corp, seems skeptical of the quoted figure when asked to compare data on the number of subscribers a company is expected to lose if they dropped a channel, referred to as “drop analyses,” with real world data.

Rigdon also said that he does not believe AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner can affect Comcast

In cross-examination of Hauser, Peter Barbur noted that Warren Schlichting, the president of Dish’s Sling TV, testified that 30,000, which represent 0.25 percent, of its subscribers unsubscribed from Dish when Turner programming went off for about a month in 2014.

Barbur, who is representing Time Warner, also noted that Cable One gave a testimony that it had lost less than 1 percent of its subscribers at a time when Turner’s networks went down for almost a month in 2013.

Hauser added that minus understanding the whole scenario of those situations, it is difficult to say why the results were different from his findings adding that his results were very accurate.


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