AT&T is Buying Time Warner – What Does that Mean for Dallas?

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

DALLAS -- There's a little company based in Dallas that you might have heard of; it's called AT&T.  They provide mobile phone service, internet, and satellite TV, and even have their name and logo on the Cowboys' billion-dollar stadium in Arlington.

So, what do you buy yourself for Christmas if you're a corporation that has everything?

How about Time Warner?

Now, we're not talking Time Warner Cable (or Spectrum, or whatever they're calling themselves now).  TWC/Spectrum is one of AT&T's biggest competitors as a service provider.

Nope, this is plain old Time Warner, the company that owns Warner Brothers, HBO, CNN, and a bunch of other content creators, including the CW.

AT&T is set to buy that Time Warner for $85.4 billion, and it's a move that has politicians on both sides nervous, with Donald Trump going so far as saying he'd kill the merger if he was president.

We asked Bill Dendy, president of Elite Financial Management in Dallas, to weigh in.

"They've got a big stick," Dendy said of AT&T. "And they could use that big stick to beat the competition down, and that would be terrible for the consumer.  They could use it to benefit the consumer, which would be positive.  And the regulators just wanna make sure that they don't take advantage of their position."

Yeah, it could be a problem to have AT&T owning shows like HBO's Game of Thrones, because they could make it harder - or just more expensive - for folks with other providers to watch.

That's one of the things that has folks in Washington nervous, and ready to make rules to protect consumers, or even shoot down the merger completely.

But Dendy says it remains to be seen how the deal will affect consumers.

And hey, on the plus side, it should be a good thing for AT&T's home city.

"Dallas, Texas is the home of AT&T.  AT&T has been a great corporate citizen to us here," said Dendy. "I believe this is going to be a wonderful thing - we're not going to see job losses because of it.  If anything, we expect to see a positive thing."

At least Dallas should benefit if the merger moves forward. And only then will we find out how AT&T uses their new, bigger stick.