AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said the chances of a successful DOJ appeal of the company’s merger with Time Warner are “remote” and that the appeal “changes nothing.”
The Justice Department plans to appeal AT&T‘s $85.4 billion merger with Time Warner, according to documents released Thursday. The agency had previously declined to seek a stay, allowing the merger to close in mid-June.
“This changes nothing we’ll be doing over the next 30 days or the next 12 months. We’re about executing our plan. We think the likelihood of this thing being reversed and overturned is really remote. It’s a very narrow path that would have to be traveled to get this thing reversed in any way,” Stephenson told CNBC’s Julia Boorstin Friday. “The merger is closed. We own Time Warner.”
A federal judge ruled in June the merger was legal, without conditions. The DOJ sued last year to block the merger, citing antitrust concerns that AT&T, owner of satellite television provider DirecTV, could charge rival distributors more for Time Warner content, resulting in higher prices for consumers.
The merger grants AT&T ownership of HBO and CNN, along with a stake in Hulu and its existing DirecTV services.
“The more engagement you have the more opportunity you have to create value,” Stephenson said. “When people hear that they say, ‘That means they’re going to be pumping a lot more content into HBO.’ Maybe. But we’re looking at a lot of different avenues for driving engagement. We have a lot of digital properties.”
This story is developing. Please check back for updates.
Source: Tech CNBC
AT&T's Randall Stephenson says chances of a successful DOJ appeal are 'remote': 'This changes nothing'