New Lawsuit Accuses AT&T of Fabricating DIRECTV NOW Numbers Ahead of Time Warner Merger
It’s been a rough couple of months for AT&T. First the company lost 168,000 DIRECTV NOW subscribers in their second quarter, then got into multiple carriage disputes with Nexstar and CBS over the summer and then a letter from Elliot Management critiquing the purchase of DIRECTV was addressed to their board last week, and now, AT&T is in the face of yet another lawsuit.
According to Bloomberg, AT&T is being accused of urging employees to create fake accounts for DIRECTV NOW to boost subscriber numbers ahead of its 2018 merger with Time Warner. In the lawsuit, titled Gross v. AT&T Inc., the company is being accused of misleading investors into thinking DIRECTV NOW was booming, when in fact, the streaming service was loosing subscribers.
Employees were allegedly pretending to waive a $35 fee that customers paid to upgrade their mobile phones, when in actuality, the fee was being charged and employees were then creating as many as three fake DIRECTV NOW accounts with those fees, using fake email addresses.
AT&T has tried to revamp DIRECTV NOW, re-branding the service under the name AT&T TV NOW, back in July. The all-new connected TV experience is meant to function with no satellite needed.