AT&T, Time Warner To Merge Into New Media Behemoth

More than 30 years after federal regulators broke up AT&T's monopoly of the nation's communications network, AT&T is expanding its footprint once again, acquiring Time Warner for more than $80 billion, the companies confirmed late Saturday.

The deal, which was approved unanimously by the boards of both companies, is a stock-and-cash transaction valuing Time Warner at $107.50 per share.

It marks the most significant consolidation of the telecommunications marketplace since Comcast's acquisition of NBC Universal, creating a second media behemoth combining AT&T's millions of wireless and wired communications subscribers with Time Warner's deep programming assets, including the Turner Broadcasting networks, HBO and the Warner Bros. movie and TV programming studio.

The deal, which is expected to face rigorous regulatory scrutiny, is not expected to close until late 2017.

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3 comments about "AT&T, Time Warner To Merge Into New Media Behemoth".
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  1. Brent Lightfoot from iHeartMedia, October 24, 2016 at 12:53 p.m.

    I get your point Joe, but the AT&T that was broken up by Judge Greene is not the same company.  SBC (one of the 'baby' bells) aquired AT&T and took it's name.  Wonder if we would see Verizon (another of the former 'baby' bells) also look to aquire more content services? 

  2. Joe Mandese from MediaPost, October 24, 2016 at 1:05 p.m.

    Brent, agree it's not the same company -- or the same marketplace -- it was in the 1980s. Just find it ironic that one of the few media companies ever broken up for antitrust reasons is now acquiring more of a dominant market position. Or you could also argue that Judge Greene got his way in fostering competion -- so much so that a couple of the former Baby Bells are now global communications giants.

  3. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, October 27, 2016 at 11:18 a.m.

    I suspect that one of the motivations for AT&T in this proposed deal concerns its "addressable TV" ad sales via AdWorks, which is stymied by a lack of GRP "inventory as only 1-2 minutes of time are available per hour as allocated for local cable ad sales in nationally aired programming. If AT&T could compell the Turner cable channels it would now own to "free up" a substantial amount of their in-show commercial time for "addressable TV" sales the potential of AT&T's AdWorks would be greatly increased. As for the cable ad sales, these channels could probably increase their regular ad clutter ratios somewhat to offset some of the comercial time that went to AdWorks. Advertisers would complain, of course, but they would still buy.

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