🍿 AT&T says bye to GOT

Tuesday, May 18, 2021 by Robinhood Snacks |
_Trying to understand new mask guidelines like [mediaphots/E+ via GettyImages]_

Trying to understand new mask guidelines like [mediaphots/E+ via GettyImages]

Yesterday’s Market Moves
Dow Jones
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$44,475 (-3.49%)

Hey Snackers,

Apparently, tech is a great industry for horse-lovers. First, Tesla lured candidates with wild horses. Now, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff says his company's work culture could benefit from a ranch.

Stocks ticked down yesterday as investors continued worrying about (wait for it...) inflation. Meanwhile, Bitcoin fell after another Elon tweet.


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...

  • AT&T: Famous for its phone plans, but also for buying WarnerMedia for $81B in 2018. That gave it CNN, HBO, TBS, and Warner Bros. In 2015, it snagged DirecTV.
  • Discovery: Famous for reality shows like Shark Week, Extreme Makeover, and 90 Day Fiancé. Its networks: Food Network, Animal Planet, HGTV, and... Discovery Channel.

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:

  • 71%: AT&T shareholders' stake in the new company. Discovery shareholders get the rest.
  • $20B: How much AT&T and Discovery spend on content combined (more than Netflix).
  • Two streaming services: HBO Max and Discovery+. TBD if they'll merge.

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:

  • Unmasked: Target, Starbucks, Chipotle, CVS, Walmart, Costco, and TJ’s are allowing mask-free shopping for FVPs.
  • Half-masked: Disney Orlando is letting FVPs roam mask-free in outdoor common areas (but not while waiting for Space Mountain — or riding it).
  • Full-masked: Home Depot, Gap, Kroger, and Ulta are among those maintaining their mask precautions for now.

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...

  • Foot traffic: The guidelines could increase capacity and help bring customers back — or scare some away. Think: bar seating and regularly-spaced tables.
  • Employees: The option to go mask-free during a long shift could help lure workers back (ICYMI, there's a labor shortage). But some companies are still requiring employees to wear masks, while customers can go mask-free.

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.

What else we’re Snackin’

  • Cooked: Apple CEO Tim Cook is set to take the witness stand in the big lawsuit brought by Fortnite-maker Epic.
  • Vax: The Biden admin will send US-authorized vaccines abroad for the first time to help curb rising global cases.
  • Hush: Twitter may be working on a $2.99/month subscription service called Twitter Blue (creative).
  • Conomy: People without a high-school degree suffered the biggest financial hit from the coronaconomy, according to a Fed survey.
  • Sweet: Twinkie legend Hostess unwrapped expectation-beating earnings because "indulgent snacking" is thriving.


  • Earnings expected from Walmart, Home Depot, Baidu, and Macy's

Authors of this Snacks own shares of: Walmart, Starbucks, Disney, and Apple

ID: 1652786