AT&T closed its merger with Time Warner this past week. They completed the $85 billion deal ahead of its June 20 deadline. So what does this mean? Who is the big winner in this mess? The Washington Post brought us this news in their article, “It’s official: AT&T-Time Warner is a done deal.

AT&T is mostly known as a mobile-phone service provider. The Justice Department sued to block the deal to purchase Time Warner Cable arguing that it would limit competition and raise costs. With the closing of the deal, AT&T becomes one of a select few Internet providers to own exclusive content.

Financially, the biggest winner is Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes, whose patience during the 20 months since the deal was struck will be richly rewarded. Executive compensation and governance consultants estimate that Bewkes’ total exit package could top $434 million if his departure is treated as a termination rather than a retirement.

For the consumer, this means the stakes are higher for providers and content producers and therefore they will be forced to be more creative and inventive to earn the consumer dollar.

Melody K. Smith

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