AT&T could be on a buying spree

  • Several news outlets report AT&T is eyeing deals with advertising tech firm AppNexus and with streaming company Otter Media.
  • The company's top executives have said the telecom giant would pursue several smaller deals to round out its new media- and advertising-heavy strategy.
Randall Stephenson, CEO, AT&T
Patrick T. Fallon | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Randall Stephenson, CEO, AT&T

It looks like AT&T has begun its buying spree on the heels of a favorable ruling in the Time Warner antitrust case.

The company's top executives have said the telecom giant would pursue several smaller deals to round out its new media- and advertising-heavy strategy.

After completing the firm's $85.4 billion purchase of Time Warner, CEO Randall Stephenson told CNBC, "You should expect some smaller, not like Time Warner, but some smaller M&A in the coming weeks to demonstrate our commitment" to ad-supported business models.

Several news outlets now report AT&T is eyeing deals with advertising tech firm AppNexus and with streaming company Otter Media.

AT&T Advertising and Analytics CEO Brian Lesser dodged questions from CNBC on Wednesday about a potential merger with AppNexus — what could be a $1.6 billion deal, according to the Wall Street Journal. But he did concede "we need more tech."

The financial news site Cheddar first reported the talks with AppNexus.

The WPP-backed ad start-up would fit into AT&T's mission to reinvent advertising and to compete with media and streaming giants like Netflix that have disrupted traditional media and advertising models.

AT&T already owns part of Otter Media and its video assets, but Recode reports it's looking to buy out the rest of the company at a valuation of around $1 billion.

AT&T declined to comment on reported talks with AppNexus and Otter.