US (and Other) Telecoms Moving Away from Vertically Integrating Network and Media

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By Michael Inouye | 2Q 2021 | IN-6186


AT&T's WarnerMedia and Discovery to Form Standalone Company—Verizon Sells Verizon Media to Apollo


In May 2021, AT&T announced a US$43 billion deal to merge its WarnerMedia holdings with Discovery to form a standalone company to better compete within the direct-to-consumer market. Weeks prior to this announcement, AT&T sold a 30% stake in DirectTV (along with AT&T TV and U-verse) to TPG Capital, and Verizon announced the sale of its Verizon Media business to private equity firm Apollo Global Management for US$5 billion (retaining 10% stake in the company). Verizon Media includes properties acquired from the Yahoo and AOL acquisitions (formerly rebranded as Oath) and the company’s solutions for the advertising and media industries.

While US-based telecoms have generated the most press surrounding these strategic shifts, news also surfaced from the UK where British Telecom is evaluating a potential full or partial sale of its premium sports business, BT Sport—early candidates have included Amazon, Disney, and DAZN. Speaking of Amazon, the company made headlines recently for the op…

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