In gobbling up Yahoo, and AOL before it, Verizon is building on a history of telecom companies getting into the content business. But the history of such deals is complicated, as they say.
There are few direct parallels to Verizon’s recent binge on media. But since consolidation concentrated power in a handful of telecom giants, they have been trying to become content providers as they seek new avenues for growth. You can go as far back as the ’90s, when AT&T owned Liberty Media, its programming arm. Today, pressure has intensified with Sprint and T-Mobile putting price pressure on AT&T and Verizon. Comcast is moving into their turf, with plans to launch a mobile phone service starting in 2017.