Culture

AT&T wins court approval for $85bn takeover of Time Warner

AT&T wins court approval for $85bn takeover of Time Warner”

Petrocelli told Judge Leon that their estimates show FAANG is worth $3 trillion collectively, while an AT&T-Time Warner entity post-merger would be worth $300 billion. It's already purchased satellite TV provider DirecTV for almost $49 billion.

A decision is expected Tuesday afternoon in the government's lawsuit to block AT&T's purchase of Time Warner.

In the decision (PDF) closing the case, Judge Leon said that the government's arguments against the deal fell flat. The Trump administration opposed the merger while the justice department has sued to block it.

"We are disappointed with the Court's decision today", a spokesperson for the agency said in a statement.

AT&T and Time Warner Inc. announced their proposed merger in October 2016.

"We want people engaged with their mobile devices all day watching movies and video", Stephenson said in April during the trial.

There have been persistent reports that Comcast, which owns the majority of NBC Universal, would make an offer to Murdoch and Fox's board that included more cash and less stock than Disney was offering.

As the owner of Time Warner, AT&T would be able to set the price that other cable or satellite companies must pay for a large quantity of TV programming. For consumers, that may mean higher prices for services they buy from AT&T and Time Warner now, all in the name of competition. Last fall, he presented AT&T and Time Warner with two options: Sell the majority stake in either DirecTV or Turner Broadcasting. AT&T will now have a major foothold in the media industry. It is also being reported by Variety that AT&T Watch will be offered to AT&T Wireless customers for free. All of this competition among network providers and content creators has been great for consumers, but it's hurting AT&T's bottom line.

To see how this could happen, consider that, after the merger, AT&T would have the rights to all of HBO's output, CNN, live National Basketball Association and NCAA broadcasts, and many more desirable Time Warner properties. He said the company needed to take a giant leap into the content business.

Some critics of President Trump have questioned whether the case was brought as political payback against Time Warner's CNN for unfavorable coverage of President Trump, who often called the cable news channel "fake news".

AT&T disputed the government's math, and tried to prove that President Trump meddled in the government's merger review. We thank the Court for its thorough and timely examination of the evidence, and we compliment our colleagues at the Department of Justice on their dedicated representation of the government. Sessions did not comply with the request. Trump weighed in again after the justice department filed its suit: "Personally, I've always felt that that was a deal that's not good for the country". The Judge has put no conditions on the merger.

Another wild card could be whether Verizon, AT&T's main competitor, is forced to respond to the acquisition with a mega M&A of its own, Janelle Woodward, global co-head of income at BMO Global Asset Management, said.



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