AT&T drops policy restricting wireless rivals from advertising on DirecTV

DirecTV rooftop satellite dish
David Glickman, CEO of Mint Mobile, said his company was unable make an ad buy that would run during the NBA Finals. (DirecTV)

AT&T has reportedly changed a policy restricting rivals from advertising on DirecTV after the CEO of a small Southern California wireless company complained to USA Today. 

David Glickman, CEO of Costa Mesa, California-based Mint Mobile, said his company tried to make a $500,000-$1 million ad buy of DirecTV’s local inventory last month that would run during the NBA Finals.

He disclosed emails to USA Today, showing that the transaction was running smoothly until a DirecTV rep told Mint "that there may be an issue with this product due to direct competition." 

A follow-up email read, “We just got word from S&P (standards and practices) that unfortunately this is in direct competition and that we'll be unable to air this. Sorry about that."

The news, of course, comes at a sensitive time for AT&T, as it battles the Justice Department in court in its effort to buy Time Warner Inc. 

Too much control of the video business is not a good look for AT&T right now. 

"While it has been common practice in the industry not to sell ads to your competitors, we have changed our policy to accept advertising competitive to our internal brands," the company said in a statement later issued to USA Today.