We’ve noted for years how U.S. telecom giants aren’t particularly competent when it comes to wandering outside of their core competencies (building and running networks, lobbying the government to hamstring competitors). As government pampered regional monopolies who haven’t had to try particularly hard for decades, stuff like competition, innovation, adaptation, and creativity are often alien constructs.
It routinely shows in the failed products they try to launch: mobile payment platforms that share names with terrorist organizations; Millennial-targeting streaming video platforms nobody actually wanted to watch; news websites that aren’t allowed to write about the news; “me too” apps, app stores, and other products that can’t compete.
AT&T in particular has showcased telecom’s knack for face plants with its $200 billion acquisitions of DirecTV and Time Warner, which was supposed to cement the telecom’s place as an advertising and mobile media giant. Instead, the company somehow managed to lose millions of subscribers while laying off tens of thousands of employees, despite receiving no shortage of regulatory favors and tax breaks to make it easier to succeed.
After recently spinning off the entire media fiasco, AT&T’s now jumping ship from its ad ambitions as well as it tries to recover from the massive debt load creating by its megamerger fiasco. The company last week quietly announced it would be selling Xandr, its programmatic advertising marketplace, to Microsoft:
Continue reading AT&T Exits The Ad Business As Merger Ambitions Continue To Unravel on Techdirt
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