AT&T to refocus on 5G as it unloads WarnerMedia

From CNET: Just three years after it fought the Justice Department to complete its $85 billion purchase of media giant Time Warner, AT&T is selling off its entertainment business to drill back down on the basics and specifically on 5G.

AT&T unveiled the change in strategy on Monday after it announced a $43 billion deal to sell its WarnerMedia assets to Discovery. The deal marks a drastic change in direction for AT&T, which poured its resources into convincing the government to let it buy Time Warner with the goal of creating a behemoth that owned both the content and the pipes that connect to consumers.

That turned out to be a disastrous mistake, saddling the company with debt at a time when it also needed to inject capital both into its HBO Max streaming service and into its 5G network to keep up with T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless. With competing obligations, something had to give.

So AT&T executives are going back to what they know well.

"Our goals with the new AT&T are simple and straightforward," AT&T CEO John Stankey told investors during a call on Monday after the deal to sell the Time Warner assets was announced. "We plan to continue the momentum in our mobility business by stepping up our investment in our wireless network."

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