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AT&T faces a host of political and regulatory hurdles before it can acquire Time Warner but, according to analyst firm Ovum, that will be just the start of its challenges. spoke to Ed Barton, who heads up the TV and video practice at Ovum, to get a sense of why AT&T has decided to make such a huge bet on diversifying into the content game. Verizon has made similar moves with AOL and Yahoo, but at a tenth of the cost of this one, so AT&T’s risk is far greater.

Despite all the talk of using premium content to sweeten the multiplay pot, Barton still reckons advertising comprises a major part of the business rationale. The advertising opportunity is based on the combined entities’ enhanced scale across media sales, practically all key content types and multichannel distribution,” said Barton. “This means that ‘AT&W’………

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