AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson is to highlight the pro-competition benefits of its $85.4 billion deal to acquire Time Warner to US Senators later today, according to reports.
The Wall Street Journal revealed details of Stephenson’s forthcoming statement to the US antitrust subcommittee, which promotes the deal as one that will create greater competition for consumers, while accelerating the next generation of advanced wireless broadband.
Over recent days, Stephenson has been talking-up the prospects of a swift resolution to the case.
Speaking at UBS’ Annual Global Media and Communications Conference yesterday, he confirmed his expectation that the deal will go through smoothly, describing it as a “clean” merger between two non-competing companies.
“This is a classic vertical merger,” he told investors. “The day after the deal closes there will be no fewer competitors within the United States in either distribution or media and entertainment. As a vertical merger, we think this will be a pretty clean deal.”
Discussing the deal, in combination with the extension of its DirecTV service announced last week, he added: “We’re excited about what we’re putting together, Time Warner is the completion of a strategy to put together a global TMT leadership position.”
As a result of its multi-play strategy AT&T anticipates a further reduction in churn on its wireless network, which according to Stephenson, is currently at historically low levels.
“You put wireless with broadband, churn for both goes down precipitously,” he said. “You put wireless with TV the metrics for both goes down precipitously. We have high expectations for further improvement in churn by bundling more products.”
After today’s session the case will go through several other committees and official departments, including potentially the FCC, before a final ruling will be made.