AT&T completes $85B acquisition of Time Warner

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Two days after a federal judge found AT&T's proposed purchase of Time Warner does not violate antitrust laws, the telecom on Thursday finalized the $85 billion acquisition to create one of the largest media conglomerates in the world.




The deal affords AT&T full control over Time Warner's substantial media assets, including cable channels like CNN, TBS and HBO, and film studio Warner Bros. AT&T's gigantic merger was formally announced in a prepared statement in which chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson outlined the company's plans.

"The content and creative talent at Warner Bros., HBO and Turner are first-rate. Combine all that with AT&T's strengths in direct-to-consumer distribution, and we offer customers a differentiated, high-quality, mobile-first entertainment experience," Stephenson said. "We're going to bring a fresh approach to how the media and entertainment industry works for consumers, content creators, distributors and advertisers."

Earlier in the day, CNBC reported the Justice Department would not seek a stay of a judge's ruling that allowed the deal to move forward. U.S. District Judge Richard Leon, who presided over a DOJ antitrust case over the matter, on Tuesday found in favor of AT&T, clearing a path for the merger's completion.

Time Warner will be rolled into AT&T's media arm, which currently lacks a formal name. The newly augmented branch joins the company's communications, advertising and analytics, and international operations divisions.

Former Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes will remain with the company as a senior advisor during the transition period, after which his reports will answer to John Stankey, CEO of AT&T's media business.

AT&T completed the purchase with a stock issuance and $42.5 billion in cash, a move that ballooned its current outstanding debt load to $180.4 billion. With Time Warner now under its wing, however, the telecom hopes to synergize its communications and media businesses, while staving off advances from increasingly competitive streaming companies.

AT&T initially announced its intent to buy Time Warner in 2016 as it sought to diversify revenues and bolster a nascent streaming operation by bundling entertainment offerings with mobile services. The DOJ sued to block the merger in 2017 over concerns that the combined entity would pose a "major" threat to competitors.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 20
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,125member
    Well 7 Hells...my cell bill is never going down. 
  • Reply 2 of 20
    flydogflydog Posts: 93member
    Well 7 Hells...my cell bill is never going down. 
    How would your bill be affected by a wireless carrier buying or not buying a company that doesn't offer wireless services?
    anton zuykovwilliamlondonfastasleep
  • Reply 3 of 20
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 29,760member
    As a shareholder of both companies... I can't complain.
  • Reply 4 of 20
    metrixmetrix Posts: 220member
    Switched to TMobile  and probably have saved thousands of dollars by now.
    fastasleep
  • Reply 5 of 20
    KuyangkohKuyangkoh Posts: 206member
    metrix said:
    Switched to TMobile  and probably have saved thousands of dollars by now.
    Did switched to Tmo and saved a lot specially if you travels a lot....
  • Reply 6 of 20
    jcs2305jcs2305 Posts: 468member
    flydog said:
    Well 7 Hells...my cell bill is never going down. 
    How would your bill be affected by a wireless carrier buying or not buying a company that doesn't offer wireless services?
    The $180.4 Billion debt load needs to be paid down with something? You think they will only pass that debt off on to DirecTV customers ?  
    ronngatorguy
  • Reply 7 of 20
    dewmedewme Posts: 1,607member
    jcs2305 said:
    flydog said:
    Well 7 Hells...my cell bill is never going down. 
    How would your bill be affected by a wireless carrier buying or not buying a company that doesn't offer wireless services?
    The $180.4 Billion debt load needs to be paid down with something? You think they will only pass that debt off on to DirecTV customers ?  
    My thoughts exactly. Somebody's gotta pay down that debt. I do have to say, however, that DirecTV has been far superior to any cable service I've ever had. 
  • Reply 8 of 20
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 2,745member
    This is good....
    I'm looking forward to when AT&T slows down FauxNews and only lets CNN through...

    (Do I get the troll of the year award?)
    edited June 15
  • Reply 9 of 20
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    (Do I get the troll of the year award?)
    Why are you physically incapable of answering my questions?
  • Reply 10 of 20
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 2,745member
    (Do I get the troll of the year award?)
    Why are you physically incapable of answering my questions?
    Because I'm laughing too hard to type.   Sorry.
  • Reply 11 of 20
    This is good....
    I'm looking forward to when AT&T slows down FauxNews and only lets CNN through...

    (Do I get the troll of the year award?)
    Hate to bust your bubble...

    Fox News was not included in this merger nor was the fox business channel. They will continue own like normal.

    So no troll of the year award for you... Sorry!
  • Reply 12 of 20
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Because I'm laughing too hard to type.   Sorry.
    Thanks for admitting that everything I said was true, then.
  • Reply 13 of 20
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 2,745member
    This is good....
    I'm looking forward to when AT&T slows down FauxNews and only lets CNN through...

    (Do I get the troll of the year award?)
    Hate to bust your bubble...

    Fox News was not included in this merger nor was the fox business channel. They will continue own like normal.

    So no troll of the year award for you... Sorry!
    You missed the point completely....
    With the elimination of net neutrality the carriers (such as AT&T) get to decide what content you see and how fast you see it.  It's now their decision.   While I doubt/hope that they wouldn't slow down other news channels to favor their own, there is now nothing stopping them from doing so...
    ronn
  • Reply 14 of 20
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    With the elimination of net neutrality the carriers (such as AT&T) get to decide what content you see and how fast you see it.
    As opposed to the government, the search engines, and the social media websites, of course.
  • Reply 15 of 20
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 2,745member
    With the elimination of net neutrality the carriers (such as AT&T) get to decide what content you see and how fast you see it.
    As opposed to the government, the search engines, and the social media websites, of course.
    Yep!  "Government control"...  That was the right wing spin used to fight it.  But, as usual, it's Bull!
  • Reply 16 of 20
    crowleycrowley Posts: 5,524member
    "What about the government?"
    In the West, government plays little or no part in people's ability to search the internet and find stuff, aside from the obvious case of shutting down illegal websites.

    "What about search engines"
    Search engines may decide what content they prioritise, but other search engines are available.

    "What about social media"
    Social media sites may decide what content they prioritise, but other social media sites are available.

    Absent net neutrality laws, internet service providers have a huge amount of behaviour in throttling and blocking content in order to steer customers to what they want them to see.  And in a lot of places in America, no other internet service providers are available.

    Enough whataboutism.

    GeorgeBMacgatorguy
  • Reply 17 of 20
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,314member
    This is good....
    I'm looking forward to when AT&T slows down FauxNews and only lets CNN through...

    (Do I get the troll of the year award?)
    Hate to bust your bubble...

    Fox News was not included in this merger nor was the fox business channel. They will continue own like normal.

    So no troll of the year award for you... Sorry!
    You're thinking of the potential Disney/21st C Fox merger (or the Comcast/21st C Fox merger), not the AT&T/WB merger.   
  • Reply 18 of 20
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    crowley said:
    In the West, government plays little or no part in people's ability to search the internet and find stuff…
    Not anymore, thanks to the repeal of the unconstitutional “net neutrality” law in the US. As for the rest of the West, get a clue. Speech itself is illegal there, and therefore is shut down by the government.
    Search engines may decide what content they prioritise, but other search engines are available.
    Social media sites may decide what content they prioritise, but other social media sites are available.
    It’s cute that you pretend they’re still “fully” private entities anymore, and that you think there isn’t legal precedent about this.
    And in a lot of places in America, no other internet service providers are available.
    Huh. That’s funny. Can’t you just USE ANOTHER ISP? Don’t like it, don’t use it. Why, it’s what you said before. Don’t like a search engine’s censorship? Just make your own. That’s totally possible, right? Don’t like a social media site’s censorship? Just make your own. Piece of cake, isn’t it. Why not just make your own ISP? Why are you holding a double standard here? Let’s watch the fun!
    Absent free speech laws, search engines have a huge amount of behaviour in throttling and blocking content in order to steer customers to what they want them to see.
    Look at that.
  • Reply 19 of 20
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 2,745member
    crowley said:
    "What about the government?"
    In the West, government plays little or no part in people's ability to search the internet and find stuff, aside from the obvious case of shutting down illegal websites.

    "What about search engines"
    Search engines may decide what content they prioritise, but other search engines are available.

    "What about social media"
    Social media sites may decide what content they prioritise, but other social media sites are available.

    Absent net neutrality laws, internet service providers have a huge amount of behaviour in throttling and blocking content in order to steer customers to what they want them to see.  And in a lot of places in America, no other internet service providers are available.

    Enough whataboutism.

    whataboutism...
    The argument of those who have no argument.
  • Reply 20 of 20
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    whataboutism...
    The argument of those who have no argument.
    I have such little argument that you’re neurologically incapable of refuting a single thing I say, responding to my posts, or even answering my questions. Isn’t that interesting!

    It also wasn’t whataboutism in the first place.
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