Lawsuit accuses WarnerBros. Discovery of misleading shareholders on HBO Max subscriber numbers

In the past few days, several Max Originals have disappeared from HBO Max amid rumors the streaming service would be undergoing significant changes. (Presley Ann/Getty Images for WarnerMedia)

WarnerBros. Discovery allegedly misled shareholders and inflated subscriber figures for HBO Max, a new lawsuit filed this month claims.

The lawsuit was brought by the Collinsville Police Pension Board, an Illinois-based shareholder of Warner Bros. Discovery stock, which it traded for Class C common shares in Discovery before a massive merger with WarnerBros. earlier this year, The Wrap reported.

“WarnerMedia was improvidently concentrating its investments in streaming and ignoring its other business lines … [and] overstated the number of subscribers to HBO Max by as many as 10 million subscribers, by including as subscribers AT&T customers who had received bundled access to HBO Max, but had not signed onto the service,” the lawsuit states.

The suit is seeking a trial by jury, alleging multiple Securities and Exchange Commission violations, the outlet reported.

A representative for WarnerBros. Discovery declined to comment.

Last month, more than five dozen staffers at HBO Max were laid off as part of the company’s restructuring and a cost-cutting effort by WarnerBros. Discovery, which is looking to make a dent in a reported $50 billion debt.

In April, AT&T and Discovery Inc. closed a massive merger for more than $40 billion in cash at close. The result was a new media company known as WarnerBros. Discovery, which houses media brands such as CNN, the Travel Channel, Cartoon Network, Discovery Channel and its streaming service discovery+, Animal Planet and others.

Tags HBO Max Lawsuit merger Streaming TV WarnerBros. Discovery
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