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Tech Giants Have Too Much 'Market Power' Over Streaming, AT&T CEO says

Tech Giants Have Too Much 'Market Power' Over Streaming, AT&T CEO says

Telecom giant AT&T & Inc's (NYSE: T) streaming video service HBO Max is attracting viewers but is at a disadvantage against tech giants like Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL),, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), and Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ: GOOG) (NASDAQ: GOOGL), CEO John Stankey said on Monday.

He said Apple and Amazon should be scrutinized for their power to restrict services on their platforms, the Wall Street Journal reported.

What Happened: At the Wall Street Journal's annual Tech Live Event Monday, Stankey asked, "where the bottlenecks are sometimes occurring are in these commercial agreements. We should ask ourselves, is that friction somebody really feeling their oats and maybe having market power above and beyond what’s reasonable for innovation?"

The telecom company is striving to grow its HBO Max streaming service, which offers more content to watch and better profits for AT&T compared to HBO's slim content distributed through cable partners.

HBO Max had 4.1 million subscribers in June, a small portion compared to the 36 million paying subscribers of HBO, according to WSJ.

Commenting on the performance of the service, Stankey said that it is "well beyond our objective of having over an hour of engagement," but "we still have work to do to get the scaling done."

HBO Max has hit roadblocks in the past few months with Amazon and Roku Inc (NASDAQ: ROKU), which have not allowed HBO Max on their platforms, reported WSJ.

Why It's Important: The pandemic has altered the way content is consumed. Revenue from advertisements and theatrical releases has also plunged.

The success of video streaming service becomes even more important for AT&T after it acquired the Turner and Warner Bros. units.

"We wanted that company to truly operate as one," Stankey said.

Price Action: AT&T shares are trading 0.45% higher to $27.01 in the pre-market session Tuesday.

Photo Courtesy: Flickr


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