AT&T deal with Time Warner attracts media competition 'concern'

AT&T, the US telecoms giant, has agreed to buy Warner Brothers' owner Time Warner for $85.4bn (£69.9bn).

AT&T deal with Time Warner attracts media competition 'concern'

The deal, which has been unanimously approved by the boards of both companies, values Time Warner at $107.50 a share. After the acquisition the combined market value of the companies would be more than $300bn.

AT&T has more than 130 million mobile phone customers and 24 million pay-TV subscribers, while Time Warner owns Hollywood movie production company Warner Brothers as well as TV networks CNN and HBO.

Announcing the deal in a conference call on Friday evening, AT&T chief executive Randall Stephenson said: "We believe premium content is always going to win. That’s been true on the big screen, the TV screen and we believe it is true on the mobile screen.

"When we combine Time Warner content with our scale and distribution … we’re going to have something really special." 

However, both candidates hoping to becoming US president next month have raised concerns about the deal.

Republican US presidential nominee Donald Trump has pledged to block the deal should he win next month’s election. Trump, who has complained about media bias during his campaign against Democrat Hillary Clinton, said the deal would give AT&T too much concentration of power.

Trump has also said he would consider breaking up Comcast’s acquisition of NBC Universal in 2013, claiming that such media deals "destroy democracy".

Meanwhile, a spokesman for Clinton said there were "a number of questions and concerns" about the deal.

A Senate subcommittee responsible for competition will hold a hearing in November.

Topics

Subscribe to Campaign from just £57 per quarter

Includes the weekly magazine and quarterly Campaign IQ, plus unrestricted online access.

SUBSCRIBE

Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an Alert Now
How easyJet transformed customer data into emotional anniversary stories
Shares0
Share

1 How easyJet transformed customer data into emotional anniversary stories

To showcase innovation and good practice, Campaign is publishing the best case studies from the 2016 Marketing New Thinking Awards, held in association with Sky Media. EasyJet and Havas Helia triumphed in the Data Creativity category for their data-driven work on the airline's 20th anniversary.

Just published

More