Will the AT&T TimeWarner Blob Thingy Make Everyone Go Vertical?

It makes sense that AT&T and Time Warner would want to merge asap. By the time the Trump presidency is over, which may very well be in 6 rather than 2 years, cable news will no longer be the gold mine it has been since Trump rode the escalator and the GOP debates began back in the summer of 2015.

And as us baby boomers realize that Netflix is pretty awesome, and see why millennials are cutting the cord, the merged blob that will be AT&T-TimeWarner will be sinking in a mass of debt. But apparently the deal is about being able to:

"begin to give consumers video entertainment that is more affordable, mobile, and innovative."

This according to AT&T General Counsel David McAtee. Not too encouraging to have your head lawyer talking about how innovative the new, huge, merged conglomerate will be. Yes, I said conglomerate, a word long banished from business news. So how will this conglomerate be as innovative and edgy as Netflix?

By restricting the content they own through companies like TimeWarner to the mobile and cable platforms that this conglomerate will also own. Will that work?

Artistically it means recycling the existing content and hoping their new shows will be as interesting as those on Netflix. And also hoping they can slash enough overhead to make it all profitable. Or raise rates.

Conglomerates worked on the principle that the variety of assets owned would act as an insurance against downturns because different indutries are affected differently and at different times in the economic cycle. The idea fell apart because of the nimbleness needed in the post-modern tech-heavy world of the last few decades.

If the huge new AT&T blob decides to start using it's broadband platforms to bully Netflix they need to remember that while this judge might have favored them, abuse of controlling market share will get you in trouble sooner or later with the law. And that they'll still need to come up with good content.

Will the AT&T-TimeWarner blob thingy work? If it somehow does, look for new competitors to enter the broadband world in a big way. Like emerging blob-thingy Amazon, or even Netflix as everyone decides to go vertical.

Posted by Keeley at June 13, 2018 6:49 PM
Comment #428003

2006, Studio 60

We’re all being lobotomized by this country’s most influential industry that’s just throwing in the towel on any endeavor to do anything that doesn’t include the courting of 12 year old boys. And not even the smart 12 year olds. The stupid ones. The idiots. Which there are plenty, thanks in no small measure to this network, so why don’t you just change the channel? Turn off your TVs, do it right now, go ahead…. A struggle between art and commerce. Well, there’s always been a struggle between art and commerce. And now I’m telling you art is getting its ass kicked. And it’s making us mean, and it’s making us bitchy. It’s making us cheap punks. That’s not who we are! People are having contests to see how much they can be like -onald -rump? We’re eating worms for money. Who wants to screw my sister? Guys are getting killed in a war that’s got theme music and a logo? …
Posted by: Ohrealy at June 13, 2018 9:05 PM
Comment #428007

“If the huge new AT&T blob decides to start using it’s broadband platforms to bully Netflix they need to remember that while this judge might have favored them, abuse of controlling market share will get you in trouble sooner or later with the law.”

Unfortunately you are wrong, Trump’s FCC recent ruling – described by Fox News as rescinding Obama/1934’s heavy handed regulations, actually removes regulations protecting net neutrality. ISP’s have promised to honor net neutrality, but with mergers such as this, it is only a matter of time that streaming companies or their clients will start paying more for certain content.

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