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posted by martyb on Saturday June 06 2020, @06:25PM   Printer-friendly
from the to-fee-or-not-to-fee dept.

AT&T exempts HBO Max from data caps but still limits your Netflix use;:

AT&T's new HBO Max streaming service is exempt from the carrier's mobile data caps, even though competing services such as Netflix, Amazon, and Disney+ count against the monthly data limits. This news was reported today in an article by The Verge, which said that AT&T "confirmed to The Verge that HBO Max will be excused from the company's traditional data caps and the soft data caps on unlimited plans."

The traditional data caps limit customers to a certain amount of data each month before they have to pay overage fees or face extreme slowdowns for the rest of the month. "Soft data caps on unlimited plans" apparently is a reference to the 22GB or 50GB thresholds, after which unlimited-data users may be prioritized below other users when connecting to a congested cell tower.

"According to an AT&T executive familiar with the matter, HBO Max is using AT&T's 'sponsored data' system, which technically allows any company to pay to excuse its services from data caps," The Verge wrote. "But since AT&T owns HBO Max, it's just paying itself: the data fee shows up on the HBO Max books as an expense and on the AT&T Mobility books as revenue. For AT&T as a whole, it zeroes out. Compare that to a competitor like Netflix, which could theoretically pay AT&T for sponsored data, but it would be a pure cost."


Original Submission

Related Stories

Hollywood Blasts WarnerMedia's Plan to Send 17 Films Directly to HBO Max in 2021 19 comments

Christopher Nolan Rips HBO Max as "Worst Streaming Service," Denounces Warner Bros.' Plan

To many insiders, WarnerMedia's blindsiding of talent and their reps with news that it would send 17 films directly to HBO Max in 2021 felt like an insult.

For many in the movie business — producers, directors, stars and their representatives — Dec. 3, 2020, is a day that will live in infamy.

"Some of our industry's biggest filmmakers and most important movie stars went to bed the night before thinking they were working for the greatest movie studio and woke up to find out they were working for the worst streaming service," filmmaker Christopher Nolan, whose relationship with Warners dates back to Insomnia in 2002, said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.

[...] According to a source, [Warner Bros. film studio chairman Toby] Emmerich tried to soothe In the Heights director Jon M. Chu by pointing out that the movie was still getting a "global theatrical release." But industry insiders say the studio is pretending that pirates won't pounce as soon as these films are streaming on HBO Max. As soon as one does, there's an "excellent version of the movie everywhere immediately," notes one industry veteran.

[...] Many think Legendary [Entertainment] will be the first to file a legal challenge. The company fired off a previous lawyer letter after Netflix offered something north of $225 million for the rights to Godzilla vs. Kong, which has seen its release date moved from March 2020 to November to May 2021. Though Legendary financed 75 percent of the movie, Warners had the power to block the sale and did. Legendary asked whether the studio would then give it a deal to stream the movie on HBO Max — and got no clear answer until its executives woke up one December morning to find that the movie was going day-and-date on the service without the benefit of a negotiation. Legendary's even more expensive picture, Dune, is getting the same treatment. The other companies that finance Warners movies, Village Roadshow and Bron, are also said to be aggrieved parties that might end up going to court.

Related: AT&T Exempts HBO Max From Data Caps but Still Limits Your Netflix Use
"Gone With the Wind" -- Gone from HBO Max


Original Submission

Big Three Carriers Pay $10M to Settle Claims of False “Unlimited” Advertising 46 comments

https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2024/05/big-three-carriers-pay-10m-to-settle-claims-of-false-unlimited-advertising/

T-Mobile, Verizon, and AT&T will pay a combined $10.2 million in a settlement with US states that alleged the carriers falsely advertised wireless plans as "unlimited" and phones as "free." The deal was announced yesterday by New York Attorney General Letitia James.

"A multistate investigation found that the companies made false claims in advertisements in New York and across the nation, including misrepresentations about 'unlimited' data plans that were in fact limited and had reduced quality and speed after a certain limit was reached by the user," the announcement said.

T-Mobile and Verizon agreed to pay $4.1 million each while AT&T agreed to pay a little over $2 million. The settlement includes AT&T subsidiary Cricket Wireless and Verizon subsidiary TracFone.
[...]
The carriers denied any illegal conduct despite agreeing to the settlement. In addition to payments to each state, the carriers agreed to changes in their advertising practices. It's unclear whether consumers will get any refunds out of the settlement, however.
[...]
The three carriers agreed that all advertisements to consumers must be "truthful, accurate and non-misleading." They also agreed to the following changes, the NY attorney general's office said:

  • "Unlimited" mobile data plans can only be marketed if there are no limits on the quantity of data allowed during a billing cycle.
  • Offers to pay for consumers to switch to a different wireless carrier must clearly disclose how much a consumer will be paid, how consumers will be paid, when consumers can expect payment, and any additional requirements consumers have to meet to get paid.
  • Offers of "free" wireless devices or services must clearly state everything a consumer must do to receive the "free" devices or services.
  • Offers to lease wireless devices must clearly state that the consumer will be entering into a lease agreement.
  • All "savings" claims must have a reasonable basis. If a wireless carrier claims that consumers will save using its services compared to another wireless carrier, the claim must be based on similar goods or services or differences must be clearly explained to the consumer.

The advertising restrictions are to be in place for five years.

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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Snotnose on Saturday June 06 2020, @06:35PM (10 children)

    by Snotnose (1623) on Saturday June 06 2020, @06:35PM (#1004267)

    Surely you don't mind cancelling Netflix or Prime or whatever and switching to HBO Max.

    --
    When the dust settled America realized it was saved by a porn star.
    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by fustakrakich on Saturday June 06 2020, @07:25PM (7 children)

      by fustakrakich (6150) on Saturday June 06 2020, @07:25PM (#1004283) Journal

      I'd rather cancel AT&T... oh wait...then I won't have internet. Now what?

      Where is the demand for an open market?

      --
      La politica e i criminali sono la stessa cosa..
      • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 06 2020, @07:43PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 06 2020, @07:43PM (#1004291)

        Good news, comrade. SoylentNews is starting SoylentGulch, a Libertarian commune for all your open market needs.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 06 2020, @07:44PM (5 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 06 2020, @07:44PM (#1004292)

        The government is too busy going after the good guys (Amazon and Google). What the bad guys are doing (ISPs and cable companies) is exactly the intended effect. They want to turn search and online product purchasing into the same dystopia that they turned cable and medicine/pharmaceutics, IP, casinos and gambling arenas (through limiting competition), and the taxi cab industry (through medallions. Before Uber/Lyft) into.

        Let's not forget the fact that the USPS has a monopoly on what should be your mailbox but that just isn't enough. No, delivery services need more regulations to hurt consumers.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 06 2020, @07:54PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 06 2020, @07:54PM (#1004303)

          You forget the United States government has a monopoly on what should be your money. Why do you accept payment in US dollars when you should be using Galt dollars instead? Why do accept taxation when you should be persuaded voluntarily to donate as much of as little of your Galt dollars as you want to support SoylentNews?

          Why don't you lynch Chinese people for spreading COVID-19 and lynch Black people for looting your precious businesses?

          Where's your God-given freedom to lynch every ethnic group you hate?

          Who is John Galt??

        • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Thexalon on Saturday June 06 2020, @08:00PM

          by Thexalon (636) on Saturday June 06 2020, @08:00PM (#1004304)

          the good guys (Amazon and Google)

          There are no good guys among large businesses. There are companies with better marketing drivel that convinces rubes that they're the good guys, but they're pretty universally run by scum and do scummy things.

          Amazon recently had no problem exposing its near-minimum-wage warehouse work force to Covid-19, giving a bunch of them lifelong disabilities and killing a few employees and their families. And while that might make sense for making sure people have stuff they need to survive, it makes no sense for distributing non-essentials, a.k.a. the vast majority of what Amazon sells.

          And as for Google, they're in the business of spying as thoroughly as they possibly can on everybody who uses the Internet. And "everybody" includes you, even if you don't use Google for anything, because they'll track by IP address, work around various blocking tools, and operate on a lot of sites other than their own. And they will gladly share the results of that spying with authoritarian governments and authoritarian organizations within allegedly democratic governments for the right price.

          --
          The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 07 2020, @02:17PM (2 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 07 2020, @02:17PM (#1004508)

          > USPS has a monopoly

          Isn't the Post Office defined in the USA Constitution. Not a monopoly, a government function.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 07 2020, @04:31PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 07 2020, @04:31PM (#1004539)

            It is a monopoly. No one else can deliver anything to what should be my mailbox. That's a monopoly.

            and in countries where such monopolies were removed the doomsday scenarios that everyone screamed about never happened.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 07 2020, @04:33PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 07 2020, @04:33PM (#1004541)

            "Isn't the Post Office defined in the USA Constitution."

            I don't mind the government keeping the USPS if they want. I want them to remove the mailbox monopoly.

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by Thexalon on Saturday June 06 2020, @07:52PM (1 child)

      by Thexalon (636) on Saturday June 06 2020, @07:52PM (#1004300)

      I don't mind cancelling all 3 of them, but stop calling me Shirley!

      --
      The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
      • (Score: 3, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 06 2020, @08:26PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 06 2020, @08:26PM (#1004315)

        OK Surly.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 06 2020, @07:03PM (7 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 06 2020, @07:03PM (#1004276)

    This is why the producers of a product shouldn't own the means of delivery. This is yet another great example of why municipal ISPs should be the norm instead of outlawed.
    Long ago I used to think internet connections were not essential and certainly not in the same class as water or power as a utility service. I changed my mind a while back, but recent events have really highlighted how much of an essential utility the internet really is.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 06 2020, @07:35PM (6 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 06 2020, @07:35PM (#1004287)

      Haven't you noticed? People absolutely love monopolies.

      AT&T did its best work when AT&T was the monopoly phone company, and you and I and SoylentNews are all using Unix-likes right now. We all benefited greatly from the AT&T monopoly. And just look at what happened after Ma Bell was outlawed. The regional Baby Bells gradually merged into great big monopolies again because people absolutely love monopolies.

      Facebook is a giant monopoly because people absolutely love monopolies. Twitter is a giant monopoly because people absolutely love monopolies. POTUS is on Twitter because on Twitter he can reach the people who absolutely love monopolies.

      GitHub is a giant monopoly because people absolutely love monopolies. SoylentNews with its blatant Libertarian bias nevertheless still uses GitHub and still enjoys the GitHub monopoly because people absolutely love monopolies.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 06 2020, @07:48PM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 06 2020, @07:48PM (#1004296)

        Facebook and Twitter are not the bad guys here. There is plenty of competition and potential for more competition.

        The bad guys here are the ISPs, the cable providers, the sports leagues, and companies that keep lobbying to expand and extend IP laws. Lets not distract ourselves from the true bad guys here.

        • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 06 2020, @08:02PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 06 2020, @08:02PM (#1004305)

          ISPs have competition too. Pull your head out of your ass.

          Oh no! you exclaim. ONLY FIBER INTERNET IS TRUE INTERNET.

          Well I say fuck you. I'm using LTE right now and it gets me on the fucking internet so I can say Fuck You Asshole and that's good enough for me.

          I'm sick and tired of you fiber internet bigots. Go fuck yourself.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 07 2020, @12:43PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 07 2020, @12:43PM (#1004478)

            In the near future, military police will be asking at every corner, «Papieren bitte,» and the right-wingers will love it because it's their guy der nach den Papieren fragt instead of Grand Emperor Baraq Hussein Soetoro.

            Why couldn't we have had taco trucks on those corners instead of Stasi?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 06 2020, @08:44PM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 06 2020, @08:44PM (#1004318)

        I thought all the 'cool' projects migrated to gitlab as soon as M$ bought the 'hub.

        • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 06 2020, @09:14PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 06 2020, @09:14PM (#1004332)

          SoylentNews is still on Microsoft GitHub because it isn't hip enough, and no surprise since Soylentils are all Boomers who have fond memories of Mr Gates open letter to hobbyists.

          • (Score: 3, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 06 2020, @09:35PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 06 2020, @09:35PM (#1004334)

            Why you complaining about Microsoft? They make Linux.

  • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 06 2020, @07:23PM (11 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 06 2020, @07:23PM (#1004281)

    Who watches movies on their cellphone? Cellphones have one purpose: recording police beating up African-Americans.

    • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 06 2020, @07:28PM (7 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 06 2020, @07:28PM (#1004285)

      Don't you read the news? Racism got cured last week by protests, shortly after the protesters found the cure for COVID-19.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 06 2020, @08:07PM (6 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 06 2020, @08:07PM (#1004308)

        Looters found the cure for brick and mortar stores: smash and grab. Looters win!

        • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 06 2020, @08:42PM (2 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 06 2020, @08:42PM (#1004317)

          Yes, the stupid prize. Lori Lightfoot is pleading with companies not to leave Chicago while refusing to enforce the rule of law and condemning vigilantes. Companies will be shuttering because it will not be possible to get insurance and that's what the looters and idiot politicians have won for themselves.

          • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 06 2020, @09:05PM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 06 2020, @09:05PM (#1004325)

            Neighborhood stores are open and doing business just fine. Small franchise stores are open and doing business just fine. Ethnic supermarkets are busier than ever, fully stocked, and untouched by looters.

            Chicagoan here. We don't need your corporate chain stores and we don't need your billionaire owners. Whole Foods can get the fuck out of Chicago and stay the fuck out of Chicago.

            • (Score: 2, Interesting) by khallow on Saturday June 06 2020, @11:04PM

              by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday June 06 2020, @11:04PM (#1004357) Journal

              Neighborhood stores are open and doing business just fine.

              Except, of course, where they aren't.

              A third day of chaos and looting decimated small businesses in and around Chicago Sunday.

              Jamaal Burris was inside his fitness center in the Grand Boulevard Plaza at 55th Street and the Dan Ryan when the looting began. While there are some big-name stores in the plaza, most of them are small businesses.

              Six GoFundMe sites for rebuilding local businesses were listed - five were associated with particular businesses.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 07 2020, @04:39PM (2 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 07 2020, @04:39PM (#1004545)

          and I hear that some of that is really protest sabotagers breaking windows and vandalizing places so that they can make the protesters look bad. We don't really know the extent of that problem, it's not like those doing it are going to admit to it, but it is something to consider. I hear that peaceful protesters were trying to tell the sabotogers to stop but the sabotogers kept on doing it because they are against the protesters and want to make them look bad. Some of those people are probably part of Antifa. So I don't give the protesters all the credit. I give protest sabotagers some of it. There is no such thing as a peaceful protest if protest sabotagers are going to simply attend the protest, wear masks, and start vandalizing everything to make the peaceful protesters look bad. Now every protest is riddled with violence and vandalism but those committing the violence and vandalism are in fact opposed to the protesters and their message.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 07 2020, @04:44PM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 07 2020, @04:44PM (#1004547)

            Here is an article about it.

            "Beware white supremacists masquerading among Baltimore protesters | READER COMMENTARY"

            https://www.baltimoresun.com/opinion/readers-respond/bs-ed-rr-white-supremacists-protests-letter-20200602-pbijucewxjeahcqhczheiyehr4-story.html [baltimoresun.com]

            Someone I know attended one of the protests in LA and said that they saw evidence that the people doing the vandalism were sabotogers. Wouldn't surprise me at all.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 07 2020, @06:27PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 07 2020, @06:27PM (#1004572)

              While possibly true in limited instances, this is largely ridiculous bullshit. The white agitators are going to be 1) antifa 2) feds and cops. 3) nuts of various stripes. Cultural Marxist diversion notwithstanding.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 06 2020, @07:37PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 06 2020, @07:37PM (#1004289)

      I watch movies by tethering a 49 inch TV to a cell phone.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 06 2020, @07:51PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 06 2020, @07:51PM (#1004298)

      I built a wall of cellphones. I call it the 4k glory-wall!

      • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 06 2020, @08:17PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 06 2020, @08:17PM (#1004312)

        So you're what happens when a nigger goes and gets a few dozen obamaphones and puts them all on the wall of his baby mommas house.

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