So, the purpose of this headline was just to bring your attention to one of the biggest media and communications merger we have seen in some time! That said, it is true that a wireless carrier will now own the rights to your favourite DC superheroes. US telecom major AT&T has agreed to buy Time Warner Inc for $85.4 billion. The deal would make the phone company, the biggest media and communications entity in the world! Just to give you some context, below are just a few of Time Warner’s media assets, which will be owned by AT&T after the deal goes through:
HBO (including HBO India), NASCAR, TNT, Cartoon Network, NBA.com, Universal Wrestling Corporation, Boomerang, CNN, Pogo, DC Comics, Warner Bros Pictures, MAD Magazine, Rocksteady Studios (makers of the Arkham Asylum game), Hulu, and many more.
With this deal AT&T aims to consolidate premium on-demand content services under its umbrella. "Premium content always wins. It has been true on the big screen, the TV screen and now it’s proving true on the mobile screen,” said Randall Stephenson, CEO, AT&T. A lot of this on-demand content is also set to come to India, and of course the telecom major will have a stronghold on it when and if this ever happens. AT&T is already planning to re-enter the Indian market as per a recent report by the Economic Times. The company is expected to enter the country through the mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) route, wherein it will buy airtime and bandwidth from existing operators and then sell is under its own name. So yes, expect AT&T to bring its newly acquired media services in tow.
The deal follows another recent telecom acquisition in which wireless carrier Verizon agreed to buy former internet giant Yahoo for $4.83. Although we now hear that the deal might be on the rocks considering the recent hack of half a billion Yahoo users and a charge of spying for the US intelligence against the company.