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AT&T quietly hikes customer fees to pay for Time Warner deal

The move gives AT&T $800 million in additional revenue.
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JeepersMedia/Flickr

After splashing out $85.4 billion on Time Warner, AT&T needed to find some extra cash from somewhere, so it's been quietly bumping up customer fees since April. The company has increased prices twice in the last three months, first by 50 cents, then by a further 73 cents in June. Customers are now paying an additional $1.23 in administrative fees, adding up to an estimated $800 million in extra revenue for the telecommunications carrier.

The charge is expected to affect around 85 percent of AT&T's 64.5 million postpaid phone lines (it doesn't apply to prepaid lines). According to AT&T, this is a "standard administrative fee across the wireless industry." Standard it may be, but the company is no doubt under pressure to find new revenue following its Time Warner acquisition. It's probably no coincidence that this price hike coincides with the closure of the deal. Despite reporting a total $160.5 billion in revenue last year the company's recent Time Warner acquisition bumped its net debt to around $60 billion -- this extra revenue could help finance around $10 billion of that, CNBC reports.

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