Time Warner CEO elucidates AT&T affiliation required to participate with internet titans

Time Warner CEO elucidates AT&T affiliation required to participate with internet titans

Time Warner Chief Executive Jeff Bewkes old Judge Richard Leon, who will determine if the $84.5 billion deal, may proceed and that the U.S. justice Department was mistaken to pronounce that AT&T would be unwilling to license Time Warner's TV and movie content to competitors engendering black outs so as to garner new customers to AT&T subsidiary DirecTV.

AT&T and its streaming service DirecTV Now plan to launch a "skinny bundle" of television channels without sports on various streaming devices, including Apple TV, that will cost $15 a month but be free to AT&T wireless customers.

Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes has explained why the cable company's merger with telecom operator AT&T is important to compete for advertising revenue with internet companies such as Google and Facebook. He said that he wanted to combine what AT&T knew about its customers with Time Warner's ability to create compelling content.

The service, called AT&T Watch, was announced Thursday by Chief Executive Randall Stephenson, shown above, who revealed the news during his testimony in the ongoing antitrust case against AT&T's and Time Warner's proposed $85 billion merger, being held in Washington.

Instead, the deal would help AT&T, which owns the biggest pay TV company DirecTV, build a cheaper online product that could be partially sustained through advertising, he said.

Stephenson was AT&T's final defence witness in the trial.


The Justice Department introduced an email exchange between Stephenson and Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg in which the pair discussed ways they could work together on advertising, but Stephenson said nothing came of the exchange. "A quick lunch", said Stephenson, "turned into a very long afternoon".

AT&T meanwhile, has relationships with some 150 million United States consumers through its DirecTV service and other operations.

"While T has offered discounts for DTV Now to wireless users, the content package it offers (with the exception of HBO) not been free to T subscribers". Both are good for seven years.

Stephenson brought it up on the stand in the context of AT&T's streaming businesses.

Stephenson said he looked at a number of other media companies as possible acquisition targets but that Time Warner's premium content made it the ideal choice. The trial, which began in mid-March, is expected to wrap up this month.

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