AT&T Completes Time Warner Acquisition

AT&T has completed its $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner.

A federal court ruled yesterday that the Department of Justice could not stop the mega-merger from going forward, and while the Trump Administration pledged to do everything they coul dot keep it from happening, the deal went through today.

"The content and creative talent at Warner Bros., HBO and Turner are first-rate," AT&T Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson said in a statement. "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. We're going to bring a fresh approach to how the media and entertainment industry works for consumers, content creators, distributors and advertisers."

Besides being (yet) another massive media merger, the AT&T/Time Warner marriage has been keeping investors and observers on edge for months because if thegovernment allowed it to go forward, Comcast felt that it all but guaranteed their prospective acquisition fo Disney would not face serious opposition.

After a tumultous week of changes at Warner Bros., getting the company ready for the sale, chairman and CEO Jeff Bewkes today confirmed that he will remain with the company as a senior advisor during a transition period.

Time Warner, whose holdings include HBO and DC Comics, will now be part of AT&T's Media business under entertainment chief John Stankey.

According to a report back in February, the potential failure of the deal could have led to Warner Bros. potentially selling off its DC Comics-related assets, something unlikely to happen now, especially as DC launches its DC Universe streaming service, a new potential revenue stream, later this year.

The deal will also include other blockbuster franchises in Warner Bros.' library, such as The Wizarding World, Legendary's "Monsterverse" of films, The Lego Movie, and the highly-anticipated sequel to It. It also will affect networks such as HBO, TNT, and CNN. U.S. President Donald Trump's frosty relationship with CNN was rumored to be a motivating factor for the Justice Department's attempts to halt the merger.

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h/t Deadline