AT&T has been using their relationship with Direct TV to drive business to their network. Just to even become eligible to sign up for AT&T's Unlimited Wireless plan, they require their subscribers to also bundle in either Direct TV or U-Verse, both services owned by AT&T.
T-Mobile just struck back hard at AT&T with the following Holiday Offer...
“AT&T wants you to think DirecTV is theirs exclusively, but that’s a load of crap," Legere said in T-Mobile's press release yesterday. "Both DirecTV Now and the DirecTV apps stream free on T-Mobile with a faster, more advanced network that covers nearly every American. AT&T is so distracted by their new businesses and DirecTV that they continue to ignore their 110 million wireless customers. Luckily, the Un-carrier’s here to show them how to actually take care of customers!”
T-Mobile also said it believes AT&T customers will end up preferring T-Mobile "even if you hate DirecTV NOW (we offer no guarantees, since it’s an AT&T product after all)."
As Legere noted, T-Mobile already exempted the DirecTV satellite service's mobile video app from data caps. When T-Mobile announced Binge On in November 2015, it exempted its own video service and rival video services from Verizon and AT&T, a move that may have helped fend off net neutrality challenges. DirecTV Now is a new online-only service that customers subscribe to separately from the DirecTV satellite plan, so it apparently had to be added to Binge On separately.
While T-Mobile does not charge competitors for data cap exemptions, AT&T exempts its own video from data caps while requiring other companies to pay for the same privilege. Federal Communications Commission officials recently accused AT&T of violating net neutrality rules with this practice, but AT&T yesterday told the FCC that the accusation is "nonsensical." AT&T probably has little to worry about because the FCC under President-elect Donald Trump will likely be run by opponents of net neutrality rules.