Opinion | AT&T’s sorry retirement from digital media


It’s a dream if only many are sharing, but it might never come to fruition, given the financial evidence that points to just one outcome: an eventual Big Tech victory.

Consider AT & T’s stock was around $ 38 when the company announced the deal to buy Time Warner in May 2017. On Thursday, the stock was around $ 29 and the market cap of the company was $ 211.3 billion. Shares of Verizon did a bit better over that time frame, dropping from $ 45 to $ 57 per share and a valuation of $ 235.4 billion.

During the same period, Netflix’s share price rose from $ 160 to $ 502 (valuation of $ 222.7 billion), Amazon’s from $ 996 to $ 3,248 trillion ($ 1.64 trillion). of dollars), Apple’s from $ 38 to $ 127 ($ 2.2 trillion) and Google’s from $ 955 to $ 2303 ($ 1.56 trillion).

You can see where it’s going,

These days, big tech companies cannot make huge acquisitions of creative content companies due to an increasingly skeptical political climate of their monopoly power. But they just have to sit back and wait to purge what are now much smaller, less powerful media companies by simply investing more in content and talent.

“Like all monopolies that revert to oil or trains,” tech companies will “slowly starve” the competition, a senior media official told me, also noting that Mr. Stankey had neither the backing nor the courage to Carry on. “I guess it’s good that he stopped banging his head against the wall,” the executive said.

Or maybe not, given his problematic choice of Discovery as a partner. It’s just too small, even with a multibillion dollar war chest to create content. That’s why I wouldn’t be surprised to see another bigger bidder for Time Warner soon – perhaps Comcast, which already owns NBCUniversal. While some people speak out against the consolidation of media companies, there is little choice for media companies when facing technology companies.

Tech giants have more of everything. They are much more flexible with the creators. They have more platforms to offer. They control all key user data and improve in all types of media creation. More importantly, they don’t need to make a profit in the media because they all have other ways of making money and they have a very tolerant investor base to invest in growth.


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