FCC Takes Aim at DirecTV Now

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The Federal Communications Commission has fired a warning shot at AT&T's free data service for mobile customers, saying the combination of DirecTV Now and AT&T Mobility sponsored data plans "appears to present significant anti-competitive effects."

On the same day that Donald Trump was elected, signaling a likely far more deregulatory FCC, Jon Wilkins, chief of the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, wrote to AT&T senior VP Bob Quinn to say the bureau thinks their sponsored data mobile broadband plan combined with zero rating DirecTV video apps for AT&T Mobility subscribers may obstruct competition. He invited AT&T to explain why the bureau was not right to be concerned. AT&T suggested its plans were pro-competitive because it makes it easier for subscribers to cut the cords to their cable plans. AT&T also said it was ready to allow any other content provider to offer sponsored content in the same "free data" model.

FCC Takes Aim at DirecTV Now U.S. FCC says it has 'serious concerns' about AT&T Direct TV mobile video service (Reuters)