In a deal that was first proposed back in October 2016, AT&T has stepped up from being a phone and Internet service company to also become a media company. AT&T acquired Time Warner on Thursday for a sum of $85 billion.
When AT&T revealed plans to acquire Time Warner two years ago, it faced criticism from every industry and even went on to undergo lawsuit filed by the U.S. Justice Department over an alleged breach of antitrust laws. According to the Justice Department, the acquisition could lead to reducing companies’ competitiveness in the media sector. But on June 12, the judge presiding over the case, Richard J. Leon overruled the lawsuit and said the planned deal could move forward.
There were speculations that AT&T will wait till June 20 to complete the Time Warner deal, in case the Justice Department decides to launch an appeal, but obviously, the company finalized the deal earlier than expected. Maybe the Justice Department did concede defeat.
With the finalization of this acquisition, AT&T might go ahead and launch a streaming service based on contents from Time Warner partners. As it is believed by industry experts that AT&T acquired Time Warner to be able to compete with the likes of Amazon Prime and Netflix.
According to AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson,
“We’re going to bring a fresh approach to how the media and entertainment industry works for consumers, content creators, distributors, and advertisers.”
Randall Stephenson is still keeping his job as the chairman and CEO of AT&T, but the chairman and CEO of Time Warner, Jeff Bewkes, for the main time will drop his position to become a senior advisor to AT&T for a proper transition.
Now that the deal is done, AT&T owns every brand under Time Warner, including Warner Bros – which has DC Comics and the Harry Potter franchise; HBO – which has numerous TV shows like Game of Thrones; and Turner – which has the likes of CNN, TBS, TNT, and Cartoon Network/Adult Swim. It also has 10 percent stake in Hulu streaming services.