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AT&T is a sleeping giant in the ad world. Now, with the Department of Justice approving its $85 billion bid to acquire Time Warner, it's about to wake up.

For the last year, the telecommunications company has been building a still-unnamed advertising and analytics unit with the intention of creating an "automated advertising platform that can do for premium video and TV advertising what search and social media companies have done for digital advertising," the company said last August.

AT&T already owns the pipes to distribute content and a boatload of data from its 159 million wireless and 40 million pay-TV subscribers. Once the deal closes, it will now own content from networks like TNT, TBS, CNN and HBO, among others.

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