AT&T to buy Time Warner – what does this mean for you the consumer?

AT&T has been in talks to purchase Time Warner. Last week, they reached a deal that would allow AT&T to purchase the entertainment powerhouse for 85 billion dollars. What does such a massive deal mean to you the consumer? Read on to find what both sides are saying in this massive development that will have far reaching implications.

Is this purchase good or bad for the consumer?

Of course it depends on who you ask. For its part, AT&T released a press release stating that consumers would see a stronger “alternative to cable & other video providers,” better value and more choices.

Jeffrey Chester, executive director for the Center for Digital Democracy, a Washington-area advocacy group for consumers said this, “the deal raises major challenges for consumers, subscribers and competitors.”

This is far from the first time a phone company has bought a media company. Version, AT&T’s chef rival purchased AOL in 2015 and is currently in talks to purchase Yahoo. Cable TV company Comcast purchased NBC in 2013. AT&T itself bought DirecTV in 2015.

The reason these large companies are doing this is two fold. First many are seeing a decline in the number of new phone sales as we all already have smart phones. We are less likely to buy new ones every year. The second reason is to have a larger piece of the consumer pie.

“This is all about tracking and targeting us regardless of whether we use a mobile device, PC or TV,” Chester says. “Through the growing capability of mobile phones to follow and geo-target us everywhere we go — the supermarket, while in a car, or even on the street, these new broadband ISP/mobile/TV giants are extending their powerful digital tentacles further into our lives.”

With that kind of access, AT&T can better target us with advertising. You could see an ad on your phone for certain items at the grocery store as you walk in. Highly targeted ads are the holy grail for companies.

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