Time Warner

LA Times

Telecom conglomerate, AT&T, was approved to purchase Time Warner for $85 billion in a recent federal court hearing. You heard right— $85 billion, with a “B.” Time Warner currently owns CNN, HBO, Warner Brothers Entertainment and a slew of other cable channels such as TNT, TBS and Cartoon Network.

Why AT&T Wanted To Make The Purchase

A company like AT&T gives consumers an outlet to access media through their cable and communication services. Whereas companies like Netflix and Amazon are not only able to provide a distribution platform but the content as well.

This deal gives AT&T the opportunity for a traditional telecom company to compete with rising media titans. By merging with companies who deliver content, AT&T will now be able to offer full-service products that consumers are leaning toward more and more every day.

Merger Brings More Options To Consumers

With the merger of these two massive companies, that means consumers might also see some changes.

For example, AT&T is aiming to offer viewers a one-stop-shop for media viewing, just like Netflix. In addition, the deal gives AT&T the opportunity to offer package deals that provide a variety of services such as premium cable, wireless data, home security and phone services to one household, under one bill.

What The Merger Means For Your Wallet

During the court hearing, evidence focused on how this merger would impact the end-user’s bill. While one witness estimated that it would increase what AT&T charges customers by $571 million over the next three years, the telecom company explained that the average user will only see a .45cent-per-month increase to their bill.

Ultimately, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon did not see enough evidence supporting the opposition’s belief that the merger would hurt competition. With this ruling, AT&T is now allowed to move forward with one of the largest deals between telecom companies to-date.