AT&T's massive $85 billion deal to acquire Time Warner has generated plenty of attention in the press, and it will have to weather a lot of scrutiny from federal regulators before it becomes official. Many have compared the deal to Comcast's acquisition of NBCUniversal, a deal which seems to have been good for the financial health of both companies, but has produced little of note for consumers. That's led to speculation that this deal is a vanity project for telecom executives, a way to diversify the business that doesn't actually have any meaningful synergies to exploit.
But there is one very clear opportunity for these two companies to work together: building a streaming video service that offers an alternative to traditional cable packages. In an interview Sunday AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson highlighted Time Warner, with it's rich collection of film and television, as the perfect partner for a streaming effort. "If you were ever going to do something like this, this is the content you'd like to use as an anchor tenant."