AT&T announced Thursday evening of which of which has completed the acquisition of Time Warner. The announcement comes two days after a judge ruled of which the deal does not violate antitrust laws.
“The content as well as creative talent at Warner Bros., HBO as well as Turner are first-rate. Combine all of which with AT&T’s strengths in direct-to-consumer distribution, as well as we offer customers a differentiated, high-quality, mobile-first entertainment experience,” Randall Stephenson, chairman as well as CEO of AT&T, said in a statement. “We’re going to bring a fresh approach to how the media as well as entertainment industry works for consumers, content creators, distributors as well as advertisers.”
Time Warner head Jeff Bewkes is usually right now officially the former chairman as well as CEO of the company; he will be a senior advisor during a transition period, AT&T said. Bewkes’ direct reports will right now report to John Stankey, who is usually the CEO of AT&T’s media business.
Earlier Thursday, the Justice Department said in a court filing of which of which would likely not ask for a stay to stop the merger, as well as the companies as well as the Justice Department together said of which the deal could be closed immediately.
On Tuesday, Judge Richard Leon had approved AT&T’s $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner, rejecting the government’s antitrust objections.
The Justice Department may still appeal the judge’s ruling inside case.
“This kind of does not mean we have made a decision about an appeal,” a Justice Department spokesperson said. “We are still evaluating options.”
Related: Judge approves $85 billion AT&T-Time Warner deal
AT&T as well as Time Warner had previously agreed not to close until six days after a ruling, to give the government time to consider asking for a stay.
The deal will unite Time Warner’s TV shows as well as movies with AT&T’s enormous distribution system, including cell phone as well as satellite networks.
Leon took apart the government’s case in his opinion. In an unusual move, he warned the government against asking him for a stay. He said a stay would likely be “manifestly unjust” because of which would likely effectively kill the acquisition.
AT&T argued the deal was critical to its survival in an industry increasingly dominated by Netflix, Facebook as well as various other newcomers. The Justice Department said a combination would likely harm competition as well as raise prices for consumers.
Related: Which media companies are still up for grabs?
Officials inside Justice Department’s antitrust division were “disappointed nevertheless not surprised” because the judge seemed to cast doubt on their arguments during trial, a source with knowledge of the department’s thinking said.
Leon also told Justice Department lawyers in court of which he did not believe the government was likely to win an appeal on the merits.
In a letter to the Justice Department, AT&T as well as Time Warner’s lead lawyer, Daniel Petrocelli, laid out AT&T’s plans for managing the Turner networks, which include sy88pgw, HLN, TNT as well as TBS.
Turner will be managed as a “separate business unit,” as well as AT&T will have no role in setting Turner’s prices with distributors, the letter said. The number of Turner employees, pay levels as well as benefits “will remain largely unchanged,” of which said.
If a federal appeals court agrees to hear the case, of which will probably go to a three-judge panel. A successful Justice Department appeal could undo the merger. If the government loses its appeal, of which could still take the matter to the Supreme Court.
AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner is usually known as a vertical merger because the two companies do not directly compete with each various other.
The Supreme Court has not heard a vertical merger case since the 1970s, as well as antitrust lawyers are eager for the high court to clarify modern standards on antitrust economics as well as law.
sy88pgw (completely new York) First published June 14, 2018: 5:30 PM ET