Trying to understand new mask guidelines like [mediaphots/E+ via GettyImages]
90 Day Fiancé meets GOT... AT&T is ditching the entertainment biz, leaving its media assets to fend for themselves. The telecom giant reached a deal with Discovery to combine their media assets into a new, publicly-traded company (name TBD). Meet the cast...
Do you think you're better off alone?... If the deal is approved, AT&T will get $43B — around half of what it paid for Warner (womp). AT&T's media biz has struggled thanks to cord-cutting, streaming, and pandemic movie theater closures. In February, it sold a large stake in its DirecTV business. The Warner spin-off marks the end of AT&T's big bet on entertainment — which ended up costing it $93B. Some big plot points:
Losing focus can be dangerous... especially in quickly-changing industries. AT&T lost more than money — it lost focus on wireless, which is going through a 5G revolution. Instead of just competing against Verizon and T-Mobile, AT&T was also competing against Netflix and Disney. Now, it'll need to spend tens of billions to match broadband/wireless investments made by Verizon and T-Mobile to upgrade their networks. This sale would help it do that, but it has already fallen behind.
Still haven't finished the Amazon 100-pack... While you were collecting crumpled-up masks from your car and purse, the CDC dropped a big one. On Thursday, America's public health agency said people who are fully Covid-vaccinated don't need to wear masks indoors or outdoors (except in certain cases). Fully-vaxed peeps (FVPs) also don't need to social distance. Companies moved quickly:
Mask on, mask off?... The answer may be as confusing as LA street parking signs. Plus, state and local laws take precedence over company policies (eg: FVPs can unmask in Starbs Miami, but not in LA). The new guidelines could encourage more Americans to get vaxed. But many stores aren't verifying vax status. That "honor code" comes with risks — especially to immunocompromised people. For companies...
Companies can act like mini-governments... The hierarchy of health mandates has three layers: nation-wide (CDC), state and local (22 states still have mask mandates), and corporate. While government rules take precedence, companies can shape policies of places we visit every day. We'll see if "unmasked" vs. "masked" companies gain a leg up over each other — and if these rules-within-rules create public confusion.
Authors of this Snacks own shares of: Walmart, Starbucks, Disney, and Apple