The AT&T-Time Warner mega-merger making headlines Monday morning may have echoes of the failed Time Warner-AOL combination in 2000, but the two are different in both makeup and mission, former AOL Chief Executive Jonathan Miller said Monday.
"I think the AOL and Time Warner merger was basically trying to merge a legacy company with a disrupting company. That's really hard," Miller told CNBC's "Squawk on the Street."
"Here, you're talking about, essentially, two legacy companies that are both facing challenges that they recognize and are trying to come together to be better for it. I would give that a higher chance [of success]," he said.
On AT&T's side, prices for devices, bandwidth and connectivity are all slumping, Miller said, leaving room for money to come from content creation and distribution.
There is a certain territoriality about content in the media business which makes this deal potentially lucrative, Miller, who is a partner with Advancit Capital, said.
"What's on HBO is on HBO. What's on Showtime is on Showtime. What's on Netflix is on Netflix," Miller said. "There's been a history in the … video content business around exclusivities, and consumers have accepted that and pay for multiple services."
The main issue with deals like this, Miller said, is more and more companies eventually "wanting in" to the prospective successes of media content distribution.
Not only telecommunications companies like AT&T, but technology companies and non-U.S. companies have been flirting with entering the space, he said, and seeing deals like Comcast-NBCUniversal and AT&T-Time Warner go through may prompt them to finally do so.
"You have a lot of pressure, and if you're a stockholder, I would think maybe good pressure against these large-cap media stocks where people want in. And I think if you're AT&T, they wanted to get ahead of that," Miller said.