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AT&T CEO: We’ll pull TV shows, movies from rivals as we launch new Netflix-like service

Stephenson’s remarks also affirm some of the concerns raised during the Justice Department’s failed court battle to block the ATT-Time Warner deal. During testimony, the government’s attorneys and executives from other entertainment companies said ATT’s ownership of Time Warner content would give it too much power and allow it to block TV industry rivals, such as Comcast or Dish’s Sling TV, from getting “must have” content.

Disney also said on Tuesday that it is taking full control of streaming service Hulu from Comcast. Hulu today sells packages containing network TV episodes and original series as well as a newer, cable-like service with live TV channels.

Having total control of Hulu gives Disney more power to support its own streaming efforts. The company is launching a new kids-focused streaming service called Disney Plus this year for $7 a month and is likely to offer discounted bundles with Hulu and its sports service, ESPN Plus.

An aftereffect of all these new services could be the fragmentation of content that might require viewers to pay for more streaming services.

Disney is planning to take back its library, which includes Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars movies, from Netflix for its own services. If entertainment companies pull shows from Hulu, Netflix or Amazon, however, they miss out on lucrative licensing revenue — a hard decision to make when their own fledging services have to compete with so many others.

“I’m not firmly convinced that everyone is going to pull all their content off Netflix and put it behind their walled garden,” said Brett Sappington, an analyst for research firm Parks Associates.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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