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Home / Business / The AT & T merger is not the biggest threat to prices – that would be net neutrality – quartz

The AT & T merger is not the biggest threat to prices – that would be net neutrality – quartz



In the first large-scale anti-trust lawsuit for decades, the Trump administration demands that consumers see higher prices for pay-TV prices if they miss the planned AT & T and Time Warner merger of 85, 4 billion US dollars allow. But it's the government's own net neutrality rules that consumers are more likely to hit. Trump's communications commissioner end of last year, a repeal of the open Internet rules of its predecessor by.

Earlier this week, companies and the government presented economic scenarios with the Justice Department's economists who objected to pay-TV prices rising and AT & T and Time Warner say prices were going down. The companies claimed that they were most at risk from the growing role of technology giants like Facebook and Google in targeting digital ads.

The technology companies have much better data for targeting ads, similar to the data of companies such as AT & T have millions of mobile phone and cable subscribers. TV content companies like Time Warner can not compete with the digital advertising giants without access to data from "tube" companies like AT & T, they argued. They traditionally had to rely on external services like Nielsen to guess who their ads should target.

In reality, the end of net neutrality may have a greater impact on consumer prices for access to entertainment services than this merger. The Federal Communications Commission implements rules that allow Internet Service Providers such as AT & T to charge companies for "highways" or faster download speeds and block websites or services completely for users (although ISPs have vowed not to do so). This new pay-to-play Internet could increase prices for most users and eliminate new startups who are arguing about slower customer connections.

-Michael J. Coren contributed to this article

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