- AT&T won approval to merge with Time Warner last week.
- America’s largest telecom will now own premium Time Warner content like HBO and TNT.
- Now that the $85 billion megamerger has officially come to a close, consumers may soon see changes to content offerings, Jason Leigh, a research analyst at IDC, told Business Insider.
AT&T and Time Warner won a landmark ruling last week, allowing their merger to continue without conditions.
The merger joins AT&T’s vast Internet distribution network with Time Warner’s coveted premium content, like HBO, TNT, and CNN.
Now that the $85 billion megamerger has officially come to a close, consumers may soon see changes to content offerings, Jason Leigh, a research analyst at IDC, told Business Insider.
“Where they might be able to affect change is in taking Turner original content and making derivative content,” Leigh said, describing a hypothetical example like DirecTV creating a Game of Thrones virtual reality experience through internet content.
Consumers should also expect to see more bundling options from AT&T in the future, according to Leigh.
The company has already begun to to rollout some new bundling options for its customers. AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson announced Friday the launch of a new product called Watch TV.
“This is a very skinny bundle that every single one of our mobile customers will get,” Stephenson said on CNBC, noting it will have Turner content, but not sports, and that it will be free to AT&T’s unlimited wireless customers.
The AT&T antitrust case has been closely followed by an industry in the midst of consolidation. Coupled with the demise of net neutrality last week, there have been concerns over AT&T’s ability to act as a gatekeeper of internet access. The net-neutrality rules, which were officially rolled back on Monday, required broadband providers to treat all internet traffic the same, without preference to user or content.
Leigh doesn’t expect AT&T to give preferential access to Turner content at the expense of other customers.
“It’s strategically not a smart plan to alienate customer bases by limiting speed of access or excessive promotion internally of their own content,” he said.
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