AT&T shares ended higher Thursday as it announced the closing of its deal to buy Time Warner Inc. The purchase has completed two days after a US District judge ruled it was legal and could go ahead without any conditions attached.
AT&T announced its original purchase plan in October 2016, however, the deal was on hold for some 18 months while the case went through the legal system, following opposition from the US Government.
AT&T shares ended the US Thursday trading session 0.93% higher at $32.52. The stock is also higher in after hours activity.
AT&T completes Time Warner purchase
US cable, wireless and internet firm AT&T announced Thursday that its long-awaited acquisition of Time Warner Inc. had finally completed.
“AT&T has completed its acquisition of Time Warner,” the company said in a press release.
The deal means AT&T now owns Time Warner brands, Warner Bros, HBO and Turner.
“The content and creative talent at Warner Bros., HBO and Turner are first-rate,” said Randall Stephenson, CEO and chairman at AT&T.
“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,” Stephenson added.
The details of the acquisition include that Jeff Bewkes, Time Warner chairman and CEO, will stay on as a senior adviser during the transition period. He is set to report directly to John Stankey who has been selected to lead the media arm of the newly enlarged AT&T.
The deal is worth over $80 billion and AT&T aid it expects the deal will lead to “significant” cost savings once everything has been put in place.
AT&T’s purchase of Time Warner is one of the largest US media deals in recent years. And, while the Trump administration argued that such a pairing could increase costs for US customers, the district judge said it could actually lead to lower prices for AT&T customers.
AT&T argued the deal needed to go ahead in order for it to compete with streaming services on offer from firms like Netflix and Amazon.