AT&T Accused of Stealing Streaming-News Technology System

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(Bloomberg) -- AT&T Corp. was sued by a tech firm that accuses the largest U.S. provider of pay TV of stealing the startup’s technology for providing online streaming news and interfering with its launch.

Dallas-based AT&T reneged on an agreement to invest $100 million in My24hournews.com, which invented a system to deliver streaming news to computers, smartphones and tablets, after making off with its technology, the tech firm said in a lawsuit.

AT&T violated agreements with My24hournews.com by “refusing to fund My24’s launch’’ and “holding My24’s Broadcast Platform hostage,’’ according to the complaint filed in federal court in Atlanta this week.

The suit comes as AT&T defends its proposed $85 billion takeover of Time Warner Inc. at a trial in Washington. The Justice Department is seeking to persuade a judge to block the deal. AT&T won approval in 2015 for its $48.5 billion of satellite-TV provider DirecTV.

“This is the third time this company has filed essentially the same complaint,” Marty Richter, an AT&T spokesman, said Friday in an emailed statement. “The first case was dismissed. The company voluntarily withdrew the second case. Just like the first two, this third complaint lacks merit.”

The case is My24HourNews.com v. AT&T, 18-cv-1647, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Georgia (Atlanta).

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