There is no shortage of interesting strategic activity going on in the intertwining worlds of content creation, telecommunications and other forms of distribution. The recent sales of AOL and Yahoo! to Verizon are representative of a class of strategic moves that make sense in high-uncertainty environments in which anticipating, rather than predicting, is the requirement. As I point out in a recent article in Fortune, investments like these, even though they are multi-billion dollar in scope, are relatively small for a company the size of Verizon. Instead, the company can think of them as options that might provide a window on the future.
In Verizon’s case, the tug of war over who reaps the benefits of all that content flowing through its pipes is very real, and owning content companies might just give it the insights it needs to give its side a little more heft.