One of the questions hanging in the air after AT&T announced it wants to buy Time Warner for $85 billion is: Who will follow? Will other tech companies, including those that sniffed around Time Warner, like Apple, or Amazon.com and Google, look to buy a studio to lock up programming?
The rhetoric coming out of AT&T might lead one to think the time has come that they must. In announcing the deal, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson declared “only AT&T will have the world’s best premium content with the networks to deliver it to every screen.” It’s as though he expects AT&T’s customers to get exclusive access to programming coming from Time Warner properties such as HBO and Warner Bros. film studio. If that was true, any other companies in video entertainment might finally, after years of thinking about it, secure their own TV and film studios.
But don’t hold your breath for more deals.