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[Slashdot] - AT&T Is Doing Exactly What It Told Congress It Wouldn't Do With Time Warner

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schwit1 quotes a report from Ars Technica: AT&T's decision to prevent Time Warner-owned shows from streaming on Netflix and other non-AT&T services reduced the company's quarterly revenue by $1.2 billion, a sacrifice that AT&T is making to give its planned HBO Max service more exclusive content. AT&T took the $1.2-billion hit despite previously telling Congress that it would not restrict distribution of Time Warner content, claiming that would be "irrational business behavior." AT&T's actual Q4 2019 revenue was $46.8 billion, but the company said it would have been $48 billion if not for "HBO Max investments in the form of foregone WarnerMedia content licensing revenues." An AT&T spokesperson told Ars that the $1.2 billion in lost revenue was primarily caused by the decision "not to sell existing content -- mainly Friends, The Big Bang Theory, and Fresh Prince -- to third parties such as Netflix." As we've previously reported, AT&T took Time Warner shows off Netflix in order to give the exclusive streaming rights to AT&T's HBO Max, which is scheduled to debut in May 2020 for $14.99 a month. The amount of forgone revenue could grow in future quarters, as Friends just left Netflix on January 1. The Big Bang Theory and Fresh Prince were not on Netflix in the United States, so in those cases the forgone revenue is apparently from not entering into licensing deals instead of ending them. AT&T also pulled Pretty Little Liars off Netflix in mid-2019 in order to give HBO Max the exclusive streaming rights.

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