So most of you know I’m cynical of major mergers. I’m cynical because I think when they’re too big to fail, they’re too big to care. This is in contrast of our computer service shop. Here, our computer repair experts always care.? But this is the merger of all mergers. AT&T and Time Warner merge: Now what?
They worked on this deal for months, but it’s so big and controversial that the legal system held it up. The hold up argued this merger would lead to less consumer choice and higher TV prices. However, earlier this week, Federal Judge Richard J Leon lifted the suit. Judge Leon allowed and approved the $85 billion AT&T and Time Warner merge to continue. In fact, AT&T leaders say they want to close this deal as early as June 20, 2018.
So some may say, “No big deal. What does this have to do with me?”. Keep in mind AT&T is the 2nd biggest mobile phone company around. Also keep in m ind Time Warner is the 2nd largest TV/cable provider. Time Warner either owns or has stake in NBA, NCAA March Madness, Warner Brothers, Major League Baseball, DC Comics, and cable stations like CNN, TNT and TBS. Both companies say they have merge to compete with streaming companies like Netflix and Hulu. They also say this merge will give costumers video offers. But opponents , like, consumer rights group Public Knowledge say the merge will lead to higher prices and less programming choices.
Well, I do disagree with the programming choice part. Because thanks to so many venues to choose from, we have more choices than ever before. I’m old enough to remember when there were only four channels: NBC, CBS, ABC and Public Television. A couple of years later, we got cable, and hit entertainment gold! That gold only carried 30 channels, but for a 1980s kid, that was a fortune! But I do worry this will lead to more mega mergers that will squeeze out the little guy. For example, T-Mobile wants to acquire Sprint.? Then you have Disney and Comcast fighting for 21st Century Fox. Is this merger any good. Or are we on our way to a media-opoly? Are we already there?