AT&T Extends Time Warner Termination Date

AT&T said it has extended the termination deadline for its planned $108.7 billion purchase of Time Warner Inc. for a “short period” as the deal continues to wind its way through the federal approval process.

AT&T proposed purchasing Time Warner on Oct. 22, 2016, a deal that would combine the largest pay TV distributor in the country with the second largest content producer. At that announcement, the companies anticipated the regulatory approval process would last about one year.

The deal is still being scrutinized by the U.S. Dept. of Justice, but so far the agency has not rendered a decision.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission Monday, AT&T said it has extended the termination date for the merger for a “short period of time to facilitate obtaining final regulatory approval required to close the merger.”

According to the original deal documents, either party could terminate the transaction if it did not receive the necessary approvals by Oct. 22, 2017, or in the case of specia extensions, by April 22, 2018.

AT&T anticipates it will receive U.S. approval for the deal by the end of this year.

The company added in a separate statement that it has receved its final approval outside of the U.S., from Brazilian anti-trust authority Conselho Administrativo de Defesa Econômica (CADE).

"We appreciate the hard work by CADE to review and evaluate the AT&T-Time Warner merger and approve it based on its benefits to Brazilian consumers," said AT&T senior executive vice president and general counsel David McAtee in a statement.

The approval was made with targeted conditions to address specific issues, but similar to earlier nods the transaction has received from authorities in Chile ad Mexico, the approval does not require AT&T or Time Warner to divest of any assets.