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AT&T Holds Onto Xandr Amid WarnerMedia/Discovery Mega Merger

(Image credit: Xandr)

As AT&T abruptly pivots from the media business with its somewhat shocking deal to spin off and merge WarnerMedia with Discovery Inc., it's conspicuously holding onto one asset: Xandr.

The advanced advertising unit, formerly known as AppNexus, was purchased by AT&T for $1.6 billion in 2018 as a complementary piece to the $85 billion Time Warner Inc. acquisition, meant to monetize and justify that larger media acquisition. 

AppNexus was absorbed into AT&T’s legacy addressable TV business AdWorks, and its core products were rebranded as Xandr Invest (DSP) and Xandr Monetize (SSP), noted AdExchanger, which reported earlier that AT&T was hanging onto Xandr.

Last year, Xandr CEO Brian Lesser and other senior executives left the company, and the unit's platform and media assets were split up, with the media assets merged into WarnerMedia

Spending on Xandr has reportedly soared of late, driven by connected TV. But AT&T started exploring the sale of the unit last year

On Monday morning, AT&T announced its intention to spin off WarnerMedia and merge it with Discovery for $43 billion in a combination of cash and debt securities.