Cox CEO on AT&T-Time Warner merger: 'I don’t think you have to get bigger to compete'

  • Telecom companies do not need to get bigger to stay competitive, but should instead invest in their own companies, said Cox Communication CEO Patrick Esser.

The pending AT&T-Time Warner deal isn't necessarily the model other media and telecom companies need to follow to stay relevant, said Cox Communications CEO Patrick Esser.

"I don't think you have to get bigger to compete," Esser said on CNBC's "Closing Bell" on Tuesday. "I think we have to invest."

Cox Communications has invested about $15 billion in improvements and innovation over the last decade, and will invest another $10 billion over the next five years, said Esser. The company is working on creating more content libraries and next-generation technologies — like a voice controlled remote — to attract customers.

"Video is in full disruption," he said. "Our customers have more choices today than they ever had before."

As for the legality of the AT&T Time Warner deal, Esser said his only concern is to ensure Cox Communications will have access to content, given DirecTV's history of making things exclusive.

"Other than that, I'll let the court's figure that one out," he said.

- Additional reporting by Julia Boorstin