The second biggest wireless carrier in America has recently announced this week that it has completed its acquisition of Time Warner for a sum of $85 billion. Earlier this week, United States District Court Judge Richard J. Leon had ruled in favor of AT&T, effectively saying that the US government had not presented enough evidence to prove that the merger between AT&T and Time Warner would negatively impact customers.
Back in November of last year, the US Department of Justice had filed a lawsuit in order to put a stop to the proposed merger, claiming that such a union would lead to unfair competition in the industry, higher pricing, and limited range of choices for customers. Last Thursday, the government had stated in a joint court filing that it would not request a judge for a stay that would freeze the merger deal while it deliberates on whether it should go for an appeal or not.
The mega merger basically marries two giants in their respective industries -- AT&T of the wireless industry and Time Warner of the media entertainment world. Several industry watchers have already talked about the potentially huge impact of such a consolidation in both the short term and the long term. Some are even claiming that the AT&T and Time Warner union may have helped inspire Comcast and Fox to reveal a possible merger between the two. Note that Fox already has an agreement to have its entertainment assets acquired by Disney.
Going back to the AT&T and Time Warner deal, the former now gets to leverage well known brands of the latter, including Warner Bros, HBO, and Turner. According to the official press release, AT&T’s structure consists of four businesses:
AT&T Communications -- offering wireless, broadband, video, and other communications services to American consumers
AT&T’s media business -- made up of HBO, Turner, and Warner Bros
AT&T International -- offering wireless services for Mexican consumers and enterprises, as well as pay TV service across 11 countries in the South American and Caribbean regions
AT&T’s advertising and analytics business -- offering marketers advanced advertising solutions based on customer insights from AT&T’s TV, wireless, and broadband segments, plus the advertising inventory of Turner and AT&T’s pay TV services
With regards to the restructuring of the organization, Jeff Bewkes, the former chairman and chief executive officer of Time Warner, will serve as a senior advisor during a transition period. John Donovan will be CEO of AT&T Communications, John Stankey will be CEO of AT&T’s media business, Lori Lee will be CEO of AT&T International as well as Global Marketing Officer of AT&T Inc, and lastly, Brian Lesser will be CEO of AT&T’s advertising and analytics business.
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