AMC Networks Yanks FCC Complaint Vs AT&T; Accused WarnerMedia Parent Of “Discriminatory” Carriage Terms

The FCC Monday granted AMC Networks’ motion to withdraw a complaint filed last month against AT&T that accused the media giant of abusing its market clout and favoring its own networks after merging with Time Warner.

The complaint was withdraw after the two sides reached a new carriage agreement, according to an industry source.

The Walking Dead parent alleged AT&T favors its own competing networks including HBO and TNT by insisting on “discriminatory” terms to renew affiliation agreement with AMC. AT&T had called the complaint “without merit” and insisted it treats “all programmers fairly.”

A filing on the FCC website today said its Media Bureau”Issues Order granting AMC Networks Inc.’s motion to withdraw and dismiss with prejudice its program carriage complaint against AT&T Inc.”

Reps for AMC Networks and AT&T both declined to comment beyond the filing.

AMC had claimed that AT&T’s “onerous and stifling terms and restrictions” are an abuse of the vertically-integrated market power gained in the 2018 acquisition of Time Warner and that AT&T is taking advantage of one of the nation’s few remaining independent programmers.

AT&T had said, “The cost to provide AMC Networks’ programming to our customers should reflect that AMC Networks’ shows have been declining in popularity as compared to their peers for several years.”

The FCC had earlier refused AMC’s request for a standstill order on carriage terms while the complaint was pending.

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