Breaking Down The AT&T-Time Warner DecisionPlay
With David Folkenflik
The fate of the AT&T Time Warner deal has been decided. And with it, a message sent to media moguls and beyond.
Nabila Ahmed, Deals reporter for Bloomberg News covering media and telecom mergers and acquisitions. (@MsNabilaAhmed)
Randal Milch, Former General Counsel and strategic policy advisor to Verizon’s Chairman and CEO. Co-chair of the NYU Center for Cybersecurity.
Gigi Sohn, Former Counselor to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler during the Obama administration. Fellow at the Georgetown Law Institute for Technology Law & Policy. (@gigibsohn)
From The Reading List
Quartz: The Fate Of The World’s Media Is Being Decided Right Now — "Whatever the outcomes, the rise in deals among top content owners and distributors paves the way for more Netflix rivals and streaming alternatives over the next few years. AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson has talked about how a combined AT&T-Time Warner could create new possibilities for video distribution and grow existing streaming offerings like DirecTV Now and HBO Now. Disney’s Iger has also said Fox is key to its plans for Hulu, which it would gain control of if it acquired Fox. Alternatively, Comcast would gain control of Hulu if it wins Fox."
Bloomberg: The AT&T Ruling Could Change How Mega Deals Are Made — "For years, these so-called vertical deals have typically received light treatment from antitrust enforcers, unlike the horizontal mergers that bring together direct competitors. Opposition to the Time Warner acquisition marked an aggressive turn by the Justice Department, but one that could be short-lived if Leon rules against the government."
A judge gives the green light for AT&T to buy Time Warner – in a ruling so decisive he warns government anti-trust lawyers against appealing the case. The outcome appears likely to unleash a contagion of corporate consolidation. And some observers say his decision masks bigger costs ahead for consumers – as executives in Hollywood, telecom and other industries seek to strike huge deals.
This hour, On Point: AT&T - media mergers – and you.
- David Folkenflik
This program aired on June 13, 2018.