AT&T Time Warner merger

Viacom and AT&T settle cable dispute

MTV logo on a phone screen
Photo: Alvin Chan/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Viacom and AT&T settled a contract dispute early Monday that threatened to black out Viacom-owned cable channels like MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon for AT&T's 24 million TV customers in the U.S..

The big picture: AT&T demanded lower fees, while Viacom charged the telecom giant with abusing its market power after its merger with Time Warner gave it more clout.

AT&T CEO plays down media exec departures

A man sits on stage
AT&T chief executive Randall Stephenson. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

AT&T chief executive Randall Stephenson played down the recent departure of executives from Time Warner, which the company acquired last year and used to build its new WarnerMedia unit.

Why it matters: Stephenson’s bet that the telecom company can use original content to compete with Amazon and Netflix depends on its ability to integrate the Time Warner properties into its business.