Judge rules AT&T can complete $85B acquisition of Time Warner

Posted:
in General Discussion edited June 12
AT&T on Tuesday received the green light to move forward with an $85 billion deal to buy media giant Time Warner, bringing an end to a contentious antitrust lawsuit leveled by the U.S. Justice Department last year.

ATT


In a ruling handed down by U.S. District Judge Richard Leon, AT&T is allowed to acquire Time Warner and take control of its substantial cache assets with no conditions applied to the sale, reports CNBC.

The deal will give the telecom full control over Time Warner's cable channels, which include CNN, TBS and HBO, and film studio Warner Bros. AT&T intends to complete the merger by June 20, one day prior to the deal's expiry.

In late 2017, the DOJ sued to block AT&T's merger bid over concerns that the combined entity would pose a "major" threat to competitors. Specifically, the government argued three main points relating to leverage over industry rivals, potential harm to streaming services and possible access restrictions imposed on certain cable channels.

Leon found for AT&T on all claims, saying the DOJ failed to meet the burden of proof that the acquisition would result in fewer choices for consumers and higher prices for content providers. The jurist also warned against an appeal, an option for the Justice Department after the six-week trial.

"I hope the government has the wisdom and courage" not to seek a stay, Leon said, according to CNN.

AT&T, which owns satellite TV service DirecTV, initially announced intent to buy Time Warner in 2016. An unconventional merger, AT&T said it seeks not only to diversify revenues, but also bolster its streaming operation by bundling entertainment offerings with mobile services. The company currently provides similar incentives with DirecTV.

Leon's decision is expected to spur a wave of similar merger attempts likely to raise the DOJ's hackles. Comcast, for example, is looking to disrupt Disney's announced deal with 21st Century Fox with a bid of its own.

Prior to the merger announcement last year, Apple was rumored to have held preliminary talks with Time Warner over a potential tie-up, but those discussions failed to bear fruit.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 40
    gutengelgutengel Posts: 148member
    Just in time for the death of net neutrality! Buckle up and let's see what's going to be the first abusive move and how congress wont do anything to protect the people...
    larryaGeorgeBMacronnminicoffeewatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 40
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,334member
    This is bad for a heap of reasons other than the repeal of net neutrality. It is never a good idea to impose Regs based on fears of what might happen. Repeal was the right thing until there is decent evidence the dead hand of regulation is necessary.

    People with skills in building pipes are no good at making what goes through them.  The same reason Apple TV shows have been lame to date. Expertise in computing doesn’t translate well into arts.
    edited June 12 frankie
  • Reply 3 of 40
    FolioFolio Posts: 393member
    ATT hopes it can boost depressed price of TW ad impressions by better targeting. I’m a target, but now that Direct TV Now has 20 hours storage free DVR cloud in beta, you can skip through ads (in 15 sec jumps) in recorded shows. So far, I’m liking it, a deal for $20 month since it’s tied into my cell plan.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 40
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,341member
    This will fine for AT&T, but I'm not so sure it's going to be good for Warner Bros.  Over time, I can see AT&T putting the kibosh on anything that doesn't make money, so they'll be fewer film restorations, etc.  I can see AT&T killing TCM.  And since they'll be primarily interested in streaming content, I can see them releasing fewer and fewer Blu-ray and UHD discs.    WB just announced that they're going to do a new series of Looney Tunes cartoons with the classic characters.   I could see AT&T killing this as well.


    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 40
    512ke512ke Posts: 774member
    • This is how I imagine the ads for internet service/streaming will look VERY soon:

    • Need internet? Look no further! The Everything Package© from AT&T© gets you Fox.com (*additional subscription required to see programming), NewYorkTimes.com (*extreme liberal content excluded), Google.com (*15 FREE searches per week... additional searches at only 99 cents each!!!) PLUS a HUNDRED other great web destination including ATTimeWarnerFlix (Netflix is not available because we don't own it) absolutely FREE for only $189.99 a month.
    • Don't need all those messy websites? With AT&TTIMEWARNERNOW© you get A LA CARTE access to any website of your choice for only $2.99 per visit! That's right! No monthly internet fee, just pay literally by the click!

    • So what are you waiting for? Get out your credit card and start enjoying your net freedoms© ... or rather, enjoy our giga corporation's freedom to charge $$$$$$$ tons of money, throttle your data, exclude any content we deem objectionable, and sell your browsing history for even more money.

    SwampwulfpsliceGeorgeBMac78Banditwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 40
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,444member
    Great news! First the government over-regulation by so-called net neutrality bites the dust, now vertical merger of AT&T and Time Warner. Good for the economy, good for investors, good for customers, good for innovation. And it was all political from the beginning. Trump urged the DOJ to sue over this merger because he hates CNN. I know all you free trade haters want the government to control and regulate your very lives but you’ll have to wait awhile. Freedom lives for now.
    JonInAtlrazorpiticoco3
  • Reply 7 of 40
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,444member
    512ke said:
    • This is how I imagine the ads for internet service/streaming will look VERY soon:

    • Need internet? Look no further! The Everything Package© from AT&T© gets you Fox.com (*additional subscription required to see programming), NewYorkTimes.com (*extreme liberal content excluded), Google.com (*15 FREE searches per week... additional searches at only 99 cents each!!!) PLUS a HUNDRED other great web destination including ATTimeWarnerFlix (Netflix is not available because we don't own it) absolutely FREE for only $189.99 a month.
    • Don't need all those messy websites? With AT&TTIMEWARNERNOW© you get A LA CARTE access to any website of your choice for only $2.99 per visit! That's right! No monthly internet fee, just pay literally by the click!

    • So what are you waiting for? Get out your credit card and start enjoying your net freedoms© ... or rather, enjoy our giga corporation's freedom to charge $$$$$$$ tons of money, throttle your data, exclude any content we deem objectionable, and sell your browsing history for even more money.

    Hysterical exaggeration much? See a shrink.
    eacummrazorpit
  • Reply 8 of 40
    gutengel said:
    Just in time for the death of net neutrality! Buckle up and let's see what's going to be the first abusive move and how congress wont do anything to protect the people...
    The govt drops the soap, the people get the shaft.

    Stock up on your vasoline...

    GeorgeBMacviclauyycronn
  • Reply 9 of 40
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    512ke said:
    • This is how I imagine the ads for internet service/streaming will look VERY soon:
    Taken from this delusion, I suppose?

  • Reply 10 of 40
    It's time for Apple to buy T-Mobile.
  • Reply 11 of 40
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 2,029member
    zoetmb said:
    This will fine for AT&T, but I'm not so sure it's going to be good for Warner Bros.  Over time, I can see AT&T putting the kibosh on anything that doesn't make money, so they'll be fewer film restorations, etc.  I can see AT&T killing TCM.  And since they'll be primarily interested in streaming content, I can see them releasing fewer and fewer Blu-ray and UHD discs.    WB just announced that they're going to do a new series of Looney Tunes cartoons with the classic characters.   I could see AT&T killing this as well.


    I sure hope WB doesn't slow down with their UHD releases. They were the first studio to really jump into the UHD blu ray market. It's nice WB has been releasing UHD titles from deep in their catalog. 
  • Reply 12 of 40
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,606member
    lkrupp said:
    Great news! First the government over-regulation by so-called net neutrality bites the dust, now vertical merger of AT&T and Time Warner. Good for the economy, good for investors, good for customers, good for innovation. And it was all political from the beginning. Trump urged the DOJ to sue over this merger because he hates CNN. I know all you free trade haters want the government to control and regulate your very lives but you’ll have to wait awhile. Freedom lives for now.
    MAGA!!!!
  • Reply 13 of 40
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,606member

    It's time for Apple to buy T-Mobile.
    Why? What does buying a telecommunications company do for Apple? Its not like Apple can't sell phones through all of its carriers. I think owning a company like T-Mobile would only get them in trouble down the road with lawsuits from other telecommunications companies among others. 
    ronnwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 40
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 3,077member
    Step #1 -- Kill net neutrality so cable operators can control what you see, how fast you see it and how much you pay to see it.
    Step #2 -- Merge cable operators with content providers so you get fewer choices.  But, for anything else, you pay more for slower speeds.

    Everybody wins!   Well, everybody who counts...  (meaning the 1%)

    The saying used to be:   "Power to the People!"
    That's been adjusted to be:  "Stick it to the People!"

    Meanwhile the so called free marketers are having orgasms -- while their precious free market is being trashed.  Such fools!
    singularityfrankieronnmontrosemacs
  • Reply 15 of 40
    viclauyycviclauyyc Posts: 300member
    Guess someone will whining about this in Twitter soon. 
    ronnGeorgeBMacwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 40
    viclauyycviclauyyc Posts: 300member
    512ke said:
    • This is how I imagine the ads for internet service/streaming will look VERY soon:
    Taken from this delusion, I suppose?

    Thank gods I live in Canada.
    Meanwhile the big telecom companies in canada charge 50% more than the rest of the world.
    edited June 13
  • Reply 17 of 40
    razorpitrazorpit Posts: 898member
    gutengel said:
    Just in time for the death of net neutrality! Buckle up and let's see what's going to be the first abusive move and how congress wont do anything to protect the people...
    Yes because the Internet just languished until government stepped in 3 years ago to "fix everything".  :D
    gutengel said:
    Just in time for the death of net neutrality! Buckle up and let's see what's going to be the first abusive move and how congress wont do anything to protect the people...
    The govt drops the soap, the people get the shaft.

    Stock up on your vasoline...

    Oh you big tease...  ☺️
    edited June 13
  • Reply 18 of 40
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Kill net neutrality so cable operators can control what you see, how fast you see it and how much you pay to see it.
    You know nothing whatsoever about the topic you’re failing to discuss. The big three engine companies, as well as Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter already control everything you see and how quickly you see it. Quit whining about a problem that never existed before your fake “neutrality” and care about the only problem that actually matters. You want to talk about controlling the narrative, bucko, you talk about AP and Reuters, as well as the 6 media companies. The ISPs don’t even factor in.
    Step #2 -- Merge cable operators with content providers so you get fewer choices.
    Feel free to bring an antitrust suit to the courts. If there’s one thing we don’t need, it’s the 6 media companies who create 100% of Western media to be reduced even further. If you’re dumb enough to think you can vote anyone into government who will actually stop that, feel free to try, I guess.
    Meanwhile the so called free marketers are having orgasms -- while their precious free market is being trashed.  Such fools!
    No, you’re just literally brainwashed (by the definition of the word) and know nothing about anything you’re saying other than what you were told to repeat without question.

    EDIT: At least we know that things will be business as usual in some places.  ;)


    edited June 13
  • Reply 19 of 40
    frankiefrankie Posts: 369member
    lkrupp said:
    Great news! First the government over-regulation by so-called net neutrality bites the dust, now vertical merger of AT&T and Time Warner. Good for the economy, good for investors, good for customers, good for innovation. And it was all political from the beginning. Trump urged the DOJ to sue over this merger because he hates CNN. I know all you free trade haters want the government to control and regulate your very lives but you’ll have to wait awhile. Freedom lives for now.
    Yeah, the freedom to get screwed.  Great.
    ronnGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 20 of 40
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    frankie said:
    Yeah, the freedom to get screwed.  Great.
    Explain what the (unconstitutional) “net neutrality” bill did to fix the problem of ISPs colluding with one another to have literal monopolies in most cities and regions of the country.
    anton zuykov
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