Not even a week after AT&T won its case to purchase Time Warner, the company is raising its fees that it charges customers. Something that it told Judge Leon it would not do. AT&T – and just about every other carrier – has a whole list of fees that it charges its customers, some of which are taxes imposed by the city, state and federal government, but others are controlled by the carrier. That includes the "Administrative Fee" which has just been raised, and many customers will not even notice it.
The administrative fee was $0.76 per customer, but now it is $1.99, nearly tripling the cost of this fee. After some research done by BTIG Research Analyst Walter Piecyk, it appears that AT&T would rake in nearly $1 billion in wireless revenue from this small change. AT&T hasn't announced the price increase, but when asked about it, AT&T stated that this is similar to how other carriers raise fees from time to time. And also mentioned that this fee had not been changed in several years. An AT&T spokesperson told Fortune that "this is a standard administrative fee across the wireless industry, which helps cover costs we incur for items like cell site maintenance and interconnection between carriers."
After purchasing Time Warner earlier this month and making the deal official, AT&T is likely under pressure to find new ways to bring in revenue and make that money back that it paid for Time Warner. AT&T paid a whopping $108 million for Time Warner, which will pay off over time, but it is also inheriting a ton of debt, and it now has the most debt among telecommunications companies, thanks to Time Warner. Though AT&T will be able to bring down a lot of that debt with its new streaming TV offerings, including AT&T Watch TV that it announced last week, just days after it closed the deal to buy Time Warner.