Will AT&T’s attempts at merging with Time Warner hurt or help the tech giant?

AT&T just paid $85.4 billion to purchase Time Warner and now Verizon may get hurt in the fallout of the deal. AT&T’s purchase signals their attempts to survive in the changing media world.

Verizon just recently launched unlimited data plans and a smart phone, in attempts to stay relevant in the wireless market, which has been dominated by Sprint and AT&T.  AT&T has taken the lead by pushing content creation, leading to high dividend payouts.

The phone service provider’s deal is expected to be completed by late 2017. AT&T is facing massive regulatory challenges as well as threats by Donald Trump to block it, if he’s elected president. Many believed Yahoo’s sale to Verizon as a boost to the online media giant. Verizon is struggling with how to handle a company that hackers recently breached.

The potential merger could allow the phone giant to acquire major brands within television, film, sports, news, video games and mobile and residential internet services. Should the deal go through AT&T could control many popular shows including “The Last Ship.” “Falling Skies,” and a handful of sports programming including Major League Baseball.

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Critics are comparing this deal to Comcast’s merger with NBC Universal. Business analysts highlighted that their deal failed to improve TV or internet technology and increased prices for consumers. This merger would make consumers access content from established players instead of seeking out new innovative products.

While critics are calling foul over this merger, the communication giant is seen by consumers as more honest and has a better record with them in comparison to Comcast. AT&T succeeded in acquiring DirectTV which includes popular programming such as NFL Sunday Ticket.

Former Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders argued against the proposed merger saying: “the next administration should “kill Time Warner/AT&T merger. This deal would mean higher prices and fewer choices for Americans.”

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The tech giant’s announcement comes just 17 days before the presidential election, putting them front and center on the politicians’ radar screen.