Another day, another conglomerate mega-merger: most recently this bucket as been filled by AT&T's acquisition offer to Time Warner for $85.4. They expect the deal to close by the end of 2017 -- if they can get through the gauntlet of the FTC and the obvious anti-trust concerns this marriage invokes.

Like Comcast's gobble of NBC Universal, and Verizon's devouring of both AOL and Yahoo, it's yet another sign of media consolidation underneath the banner of a gigantic telecom corporation. Into AT&T's new portfolio from the third largest media conglomerate (after Comcast and Disney) would theoretically go:

  • CNN
  • TNT
  • HBO
  • Cinemax
  • Warner Bros. film and TV
  • TBS
  • The CW
  • DC Comics
  • Bleacher Report & Turner Sports
  • 10% of Hulu
  • Cartoon Network
  • Adult Swim
  • New Line Cinema
  • Looney Tunes
  • Rocksteady Studios
  • TT Games
  • Turbine

...but not Time Inc., the magazine brand, which was spun off as a separate entity in 2014. Here's a sweet infographic that shows the Terminator-esque reconstitution of AT&T Corp in 1982, after over a century of phone service monopoly in the U.S. and Canada through the Bell System network (hence the popular nickname, Ma Bell):

In celebration of this reminder that oligopoly capitalism still reigns supreme here in America, where modern conglomerates roam the savannah of markets at pre-historic size (better hope there's no meteor heading our way), may I offer these words of anachronistically appropriate analysis from the Beastie Boys, who were first constituted just 2 years prior to the breakup of the Bells:


"Gonna get it together, watch it, gonna get it together Ma Bell
I'm like Ma Bell, I've got the ill communication"