. And it isn't just the scale of the deal, but its
. And, maybe, its audaciousness.
I'm talking about the
deal, of course.
The Deal of the Century
-- and not just because the century is only 10 days old.
AOL-Time Warner merger: Join the discussion on our
Q&A with Jim Seymour on our
boards continues tomorrow at 5 p.m. ET.
said part of what needs to be said already this morning: Validation of Net-stock prices, new media trumps old, the Net as the primary content-delivery mechanism of the future. Maybe the most powerful media company in the world. Etc. Yes on all.
But it's even bigger than that. And not only because the merger produces a company with an estimated market cap of $248 billion, at Friday's close. It also opens the floodgates for -- predicts, lubricates, values,
But few, I suspect, quite so big in their impact as this one.
It's also exactly the goose this wobbly market needs to get back on the growth curve. It's always dangerous to make too much of
trades, but apart from the obvious trading up in Time Warner and AOL, we're seeing lots of other only distantly-related companies kicking off. Some, like
, have a faint connection -- and, my gosh, even shaggy old Disney is up one and a half on Instinet as I write.
But the effect is larger, much larger. Even
, which many of us had expected to give up some today to the shorts, was more than 55 on Instinet. (For what it's worth, I thought
warnings on "TheStreet.com" on
Fox News Channel
this weekend were right on the button. That's out the window now, maybe, but Herb's advice was right for its time.)
Anyway, you get the idea: this kick-ass merger is going to kick off a while string of
More digital age
, sooner, for example. "Convergence" has been largely a media myth of our time 'til now; look for convergence to suddenly get real, very real. With an all-star lineup of media companies at its disposal, all of a sudden those people who've been calling AOL a media company for years look awfully smart, don't they? The combined AOL-Time Warner can be expected to spread its operations, assets and winning programs and brands over a variety of delivery channels, cross-promoting like crazy as it goes.
More media companies moving up
. Trading in Europe this morning confirmed that investors are going to see this as a boost almost across the board for media companies.
More content plays
. This deal also values content providers more highly. Look for the acquisition of important content players, at higher prices than we'd have otherwise seen this soon. Indeed, this may be the deal that brings the Web content business, lately sluggish, roaring back to life. (Full disclosure: Yes, I think this deal is going to boost
, which, like everyone else on the site, I am long.)
More broadband access, faster
. AOL's been looking for answers to its need for a way to offer AOL subscribers fast access. With
, the cable-modem service owned by Time Warner and its partners, AOL has the right vehicle now, right under its own roof. Look for bundled RoadRunner deals from AOL quickly.
More complaints, louder, from traditional media types
. The dead-tree people and the TV people, especially on the news side, are going to crab about this one for months to come. Breaches the wall, etc. Remember the noise from them exactly a decade ago, when Time-Warner acquired
? About all those slobbo
journo wannabes getting their noses under the tent? Round two is upcoming, with the twist that now it's going to be those slobbo Web people as the villains.
Coming shortly, more on this deal: obvious and not-quite so-obvious winners and losers (what does this mean for
?), a look at the market's first response, and trying to divine the ripple effect moving out from this monster deal.
And of course,
coverage of the story.
Join Jim Seymour Tuesday, Jan. 11 at 5 p.m. ET for a Q&A on the AOL-Time Warner megamerger. Post your questions about the deal now on our
Jim Seymour is president of Seymour Group, an information-strategies consulting firm working with corporate clients in the U.S., Europe and Asia, and a longtime columnist for PC Magazine. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. At time of publication, Seymour was long Lucent and TheStreet.com, although holdings can change at any time. Seymour does not write about companies that are current or recent consulting clients of Seymour Group. While Seymour cannot provide investment advice or recommendations, he invites your feedback at