AT&T has a rationale behind its recent acquisition spree.
The company wants to dominate the business of selling targeted advertising on internet-connected TVs and devices, according to advertising executives who have had conversations with the company.
On the content side, AT&T acquired Time Warner for a whopping $85.4 billion, though the Department of Justice is suing to block the deal. It purchased entertainment company Otter Media for a price reported around $1 billion. It’s also buying advertising tech such as the digital ad platform AppNexus, which it reportedly got for around $1.6 billion. AT&T has met with additional advertising technology companies about potential acquisitions.
The endgame for AT&T is to develop a new ad platform to sell targeted advertising on video content, regardless of where the person is watching and whether they have a cable or satellite subscription.