AT&T completed its $85 billion deal for Time Warner days after winning a legal battle against US authorities trying to block the deal.
Closing the acquisition was expected to be a swift process once the legal battle concluded, as the original agreement was due to expire on 21 June (having already been extended by two months). Had the latest deadline elapsed, Time Warner would have been free to renegotiate terms without penalty.
In a statement, AT&T chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson said his company would bring a “fresh approach” to the media and entertainment sectors, touting its enhanced abilities to create and distribute content using its expanded range of assets.
Stephenson added it could now offer a “differentiated, high-quality, mobile-first entertainment experience.”
The company also confirmed a previously announced management reshuffle would now take place as part of a wider reorganisation to incorporate Time Warner. Within three years AT&T expects to reduce annual costs across the two businesses by $2.5 billion.
Including Time Warner on its balance sheet increases AT&T’s net debt to $180.4 billion.
Earlier this week, the US Department of Justice (DoJ) lost its legal bid to block AT&T’s deal with no conditions placed on the operator. The DoJ argued the merger negatively impacted competition in the country.
From the initial merger announcement, AT&T maintained it was a classic vertical merger and should raise no issues for authorities.