US officials, AT&T begin talks on Time Warner terms - Mobile World Live

US officials, AT&T begin talks on Time Warner terms

24 JUL 2017

Early stage talks between AT&T, Time Warner and US antitrust officials on potential terms and conditions attached to the $85.4 billion megadeal have started, Bloomberg reported.

According to sources at the news publication, initial discussions are based on allaying concerns AT&T would use its position to prioritise programming from Time Warner over other content providers.

Meetings with the US Department of Justice Antitrust Division appear to have started despite Trump’s nomination for head of the unit, Makan Delrahim, still awaiting confirmation from the Senate he can take the role full time.

If he does assume the role, he is thought to be broadly in favour of the merger based on previous comments.

Prior to his nomination, Bloomberg reported comments from Delrahim stating the Time Warner AT&T merger was “not an antitrust problem” as the two were not direct competitors.

A “clean” deal
Officials have so far been tight-lipped on the conditions, if any, that may be placed on the deal. However, since the announcement of the bid in October 2016 AT&T executives have been confident the merger would be given the green light.

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson described it as pro-competition and a clean, classic vertical deal. He has also dismissed any concerns the deal may be blocked by officials numerous times and expressed optimism at the opportunities available under the Trump administration.

The company has also reportedly set out a plan to shake-up its structure to accommodate Time Warner.


Chris Donkin

Chris joined the Mobile World Live team in November 2016 having previously worked at a number of UK media outlets including Trinity Mirror, The Press Association and UK telecoms publication Mobile News. After spending 10 years in journalism, he moved...

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