United States mobile phone service provider AT&T Inc on Thursday said it had completed the acquisition of Time Warner for $85 billion (Rs 5.74 lakh crore), two days after it won a legal battle against the government. The deal was pushed through after the Department of Justice said it would not ask for a stay to stop the merger.
“The content and creative talent at Warner Bros, HBO and Turner are first-rate,” said AT&T Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer Randall Stephenson. “Combine all that with AT&T’s strengths in direct-to-consumer distribution, and we offer customers a differentiated, high-quality, mobile-first entertainment experience.”
Stephenson said the company would “bring a fresh approach to how the media and entertainment industry works for consumers, content creators, distributors and advertisers”.
The Donald Trump administration had tried to obstruct the deal, which could also pave the way for cable company Comcast’s acquisition of Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox, as it was apprehensive that the merger would lead to a decrease in competition in pay TV and increase prices for consumers. The Trump administration has been critical of the Time Warner-owned CNN and their coverage of its policies.
The deal, including the debt procured, could be categorised as the fourth-largest agreement in the global telecom, media and entertainment industry.