The AT&T Time Warner and DirecTV mergers were a monumental disasters. AT&T spent $200 billion to acquire both companies thinking it would dominate the video and internet ad space. Instead, the company lost 9 million subscribers in nine years, fired 50,000 employees, closed numerous popular brands (including Mad Magazine), and stumbled around incompetently for several years before giving up.
But that was just the start.
After its tactical retreat, AT&T spun off Time Warner into an entirely new company, Warner Media. Warner Media then immediately turned around and announced a blockbuster merger with Discovery, creating the creatively named Warner Brothers Discovery.
This new company has been a blistering mess as well. Executives there have been so cheap they’ve refused to pay residuals to…