AT&T Completes Time Warner Purchase

Just two days after receiving the green light from U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon, AT&T said it has completed its $108.7 billion purchase of Time Warner.

Randall Stephenson

Randall Stephenson

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

Related: AT&T-Time Warner Cleared to Merge

Judge Leon approved the deal without conditions on June 12.  AT&T had originally planned to complete the transaction by June 20, but a decision by the DOJ not to seek a stay of the Judge’s order helped accelerate that timetable.

Related: AT&T: DOJ Won't Seek Stay of Deal

AT&T first announced its agreement to purchase Time Warner in October 2016, creating a distribution and content juggernaut with more than 20 million pay TV subscribers, movie and TV studio production and cable networks including CNN, TBS, TNT and HBO. About 20 months later, weathering criticism from the current President of the United States and an attempt to block the deal on anti-trust terms from the Department of Justice, the deal is complete.

In a statement, AT&T said the business will consist of four segments, each which will operate independently:

  • AT&T Communications: Providing mobile, broadband, video and other communications services to U.S.-based consumers and nearly 3.5 million companies.
  • : Comprising HBO, Turner and Warner Bros. Together, these businesses had revenues of more than $31 billion in 2017. A new name for this business will be announced later.
  • AT&T International: Providing mobile services in Mexico to consumers and businesses, plus pay-TV service across 11 countries in South America and the Caribbean. It had revenues of more than $8 billion in 2017.
  • AT&T’s advertising and analytics business: Providing marketers with advanced advertising solutions using customer insights from AT&T’s TV, mobile and broadband services, combined with extensive ad inventory from Turner and AT&T’s pay-TV services. A name for this company will be announced in the future.

AT&T added that former Time Warner chairman and CEO Jeff Bewkes has agreed to remain with the company as a senior advisor during a transition period.

“Jeff is an outstanding leader and one of the most accomplished CEOs around,” Stephenson said in a statement. “He and his team have built a global leader in media and entertainment. And I greatly appreciate his continued counsel.”

As previously announced, leading the four businesses and reporting to Stephenson will be:

· John Donovan, CEO of AT&T Communications;

· John Stankey, CEO of AT&T’s media business;

· Lori Lee, CEO of AT&T International and Global Marketing Officer of AT&T Inc.; and,

· Brian Lesser, CEO of AT&T’s ad and analytics business.

All of Bewkes’ direct reports will now report to John Stankey.