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What AT&T Time Warner understanding means for Verizon

ATT buys Time Warner for $85 billion

After 18 months of selling adult bequest Internet companies and startups, Verizon suggested that a selling debauch competence be over for now.

“We trust we have a right assets,” Verizon CFO Fran Shammo pronounced on an benefit call Thursday morning, when asked about its merger strategy. “There is zero vast out there that we need to be successful during this indicate in time.”

The list sounds impressive: Verizon (VZ, Tech30) has committed some-more than $9 billion to buy AOL and Yahoo (YHOO, Tech30). It has also snatched adult businesses in a buzzy Internet of Things and connected cars markets.

But only hours after a call finished Thursday, it was reported that Verizon’s opposition ATT (T, Tech30) was operative on a understanding that would now dwarf all those investments.

Related: Why ATT wants Time Warner

On Saturday, ATT announced an agreement to buy Time Warner, primogenitor association of CNN, TNT, HBO and Warner Bros., for $85 billion. With debt included, a understanding totaled $109 billion.

ATT’s large squeeze highlights a transparent disproportion in a presence strategies of a dual telecom companies: ATT is now peaceful to gamble all to renovate itself. Verizon is some-more gentle holding baby steps.

“What Verizon is doing is really small. In a grand intrigue of things, Yahoo and AOL are minuscule,” says Craig Moffett, an attention researcher with MoffettNathanson.

Both Verizon and ATT are responding to identical tailwinds in a wireless industry: Everyone already has a smartphone and total information skeleton are once again apropos a norm, tying sales growth.

“The wireless business is jam-packed and is now a timorous business for both Verizon and ATT,” pronounced Moffett. “Most of a rest of what they possess is also shrinking.”

As a result, a telecoms are looking for expansion elsewhere.

Verizon invested in AOL and Yahoo with a idea of building a billion-user media business that could opposition Facebook (FB, Tech30) and Google (GOOG) for promotion sales online and on smartphones.

ATT, on a other hand, is betting on a TV and film powerhouse that will roughly immediately boost a income once a merger is completed.

In short, analysts say, Verizon is perplexing to build on tip of a loss wireless business while ATT is perplexing to aggressively variegate divided from it.

Even if Verizon wanted a Time Warner of a own, it could be disabled by several factors, according to Walt Piecyk, an researcher with BTIG. Verizon is saddled with a complicated debt bucket from selling out Vodafone in 2014. Its CFO is about to retire. And there might not be another media item for sale allied to Time Warner (TWX).

Verizon might not be meddlesome in this proceed anyway. “Verizon appears to trust in their stream strategy,” Piecyk says.

Related: ATT, Time Warner understanding faces tough regulatory fight

The jury is out on that proceed will work best.

ATT will roughly positively face extensive regulatory scrutiny to get a Time Warner understanding done. Donald Trump has already pledged to retard a understanding if he is inaugurated president.

And of course, there’s a elephant in a room: a final time a three-letter association starting with “A” bought Time Warner, it didn’t go so well.

On a other hand, it’s misleading how most Verizon can benefit by being a apart third in a online promotion marketplace to Facebook and Google.

Worse still, Verizon is trying to figure out what to do with Yahoo in a arise of a large confidence breach. Yahoo was ostensible to move Verizon into a billion-user club; instead it’s been a source of a billion headaches.

Even tiny bets can be risky.

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