AT&T Time Warner merger without conditions
A US Federal judge has ruled that AT&T’s US$85 billion acquisition of Time Warner is legal, without placing any conditions on the merger of the telecom and media giants. U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon further said, he would deny a stay on the deal if requested by the Justice Dept., meaning that even if DOJ appeals, the companies are free to close. That did not impose conditions on the merger's approval and secondly, he also urged the government not to seek a stay when issuing his decision in a closed-door room with reporters.
We are pleased that, after conducting a full and fair trial on the merits, the Court has categorically rejected the government's lawsuit to block our merger with Time Warner," McAtee said in a statement. "We look forward to closing the merger on or before June 20 so we can begin to give consumers video entertainment that is more affordable, mobile, and innovative."
The news clears the way for the multi-billion dollar merger and makes it more likely that Comcast will now make a firm offer for 21st Century Fox. Fox shares also rose after Leon made his ruling. The ensuing court case saw AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson deny that the acquisition would stifle competition, while Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes had argued that the merger would better enable the combined company to compete with tech giants such as Google and Facebook.
We are pleased that, after conducting a full and fair trial on the merits, the Court has categorically rejected the government’s lawsuit to block our merger with Time Warner,” said David McAfee, AT&T’s general counsel.
We look forward to closing the merger on or before June 20 so we can begin to give consumers video entertainment that is more affordable, mobile, and innovative. However, the Department of Justice indicated that it would review the court’s ruling and consider what next steps to take.
With this news spread out the shares of Time Warner jumped roughly 5 percent in extended trading. Shares of AT&T dropped as much as 2 percent and whereas, the Comcast shares dipped 4 percent after the AT&T-Time Warner decision. Shares of Fox rose 4 percent.