AT&T® Completes Their Merger with Time Warner® for $81 Billion

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The telecom giant AT&T® has completed its Time Warner® takeover at $81 billion after going through objections by the Justice Department that stated it might hurt their customers. Yet in fact, some experts believe that the merger may now shape the way the customers can stream TV contents as well as the amount they pay, thereby making changes in the deals in the telecom and media world.

In a statement that announced the merger completion, the CEO of AT&T®, Randall Stephenson, said that the merger would make AT&T® “the future of media entertainment.” The AT&T® CEO further added that the fastest internet provider would now focus on a range of TV networks as well.

On June 12, US District Court Judge, Richard Leon, ruled against the Department of Justice’s attempt to block the merger of AT&T® and Time Warner® on anti-competitive grounds. This was the first time in ten years that the US government sued to stop the merger of two organizations that do not directly compete with each other.

An official of the Justice Department said that the regulators should continue to consider the appeal. However, District Court Judge Leon rejected the argument of DOJ that the telecom giant AT&T’s takeover of the entertainment firm Time Warner® might hurt competition, limit the choices, and in addition, hike up the prices for customers to stream movies and TV.

The ruling permitted AT&T® to absorb the owner of HBO, CNN, the WB movie studio, “must-see” shows, and sports programs such as college basketball championships. AT&T’s announcement said that Jeffrey Bewkes, the CEO of Time Warner® has decided to remain as a senior adviser within the company.

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AT&T® agreed to certain circumstances under which it will run Time Warner’s Turner Broadcasting, including CNN. It will administer the networks as a part of a different business unit, which is distinct from AT&T® operations like U-verse® and Direct TV®. Additionally, AT&T® will not have a word in setting the Turner’s prices and other terms in the agreement with companies that distributes its contents.

This merger will combine a corporation that produces entertainment and news with the one that distributes the programs to the consumers. This ruling has already started to open the floodgates to making deals in the rapidly changing entertainment, production, and distribution world, and only time will tell how things fare in favor of the consumers.

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