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Unread 2014-05-01, 08:25 AM   #1
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Default Report: AT&T eyes DirecTV for acquisition






(Photo: Elise Amendola, AP)


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AT&T has started discussions with DirecTV to possibly buy the satellite-TV operator, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.
Citing unnamed sources, the paper reported Wednesday evening that DirecTV would be "open to a deal."
AT&T and DirecTV couldn't be reached for comment. However, if confirmed the move would be the latest sign of possible changes for the television industry, which is going through a period of consolidation.
DirectTV's pre-market shares spiked 8.5% on Thursday. AT&T's pre-market shares fell 0.6%.
If the two sides ever come to an agreement, it would be one of the largest — if not the largest — pay-TV industry acquisitions, possibly even surpassing Comcast's deal to buy Time Warner Cable for $45 billion.
As of Wednesday, DirecTV's market value totaled about $39.6 billion.
DirecTV, based in El Segundo, Calif., had $8.6 billion in revenue last year and provides satellite-TV service to about 20 million subscribers in the U.S. and 17 million in Latin America.
In March, unconfirmed reports surfaced that Dish Network was potentially interested in a merger with DirecTV.
Dallas-based AT&T's U-Verse TV service, which uses fiber optic lines, gained 201,000 customers in the first quarter to reach 5.7 million. AT&T is the U.S.'s largest telecoms operator.
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Unread 2014-05-18, 07:54 PM   #2
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Default AT&T to buy DirecTV for $48.5 billion (updated)






AT&T clearly isn't taking Comcast's recent acquisition efforts lying down; it just announced plans to buy DirecTV in a deal worth about $48.5 billion. The communications giant sees a takeover as an opportunity to expand how it delivers video beyond just the bundles it has today. If officials approve the merger, AT&T could send conventional and internet-based video to virtually any place you happen to be, whether it's on your phone or in mid-flight. This also represents a content grab -- DirecTV has the exclusive rights to NFL Sunday Ticket and other premium programming, so there's a chance that much of its content could reach U-verse and other AT&T offerings.
The telecom is making a lot of promises to assuage regulators that will no doubt look at the proposed mega-buyout very closely -- AT&T clearly wants to avoid a repeat of its failed attempt to buy T-Mobile in 2011. It hopes to bring high-speed internet access to 15 million additional customers, primarily in rural areas where a mix of fixed wireless and fiber-to-the-home could get people online. It's also guaranteeing internet-only service plans fast enough for online video ("at least" 6Mbps) for the next three years, and it will honor the FCC's 2010 net neutrality rules (which typically prevent blocking or throttling internet services) for that same period of time. DirecTV's stand-alone packages would be available at consistent prices nationwide during this stretch, too.
The move won't affect AT&T's plans to bid in the FCC's upcoming wireless spectrum auction, and it estimates that the purchase will start adding value within about a year of closing. Whether or not it closes is another matter. The US government already has concerns about the possible anti-competitive effects of Comcast's proposed buyout of Time Warner Cable; it's likely that the feds will take a similar approach to AT&T and DirecTV. If Comcast runs into regulatory trouble, it won't be surprising if AT&T ends up in the same boat.
Update: Not surprisingly, consumer groups aren't big fans. Free Press contends that AT&T has "clearly run out of ideas," and that the move is solely about eliminating competition. Consumer Reports' advocacy wing, Consumers Union, also believes that Americans are getting a raw deal. You'll find its full statement below.
On the heels of Comcast's bid for Time Warner Cable, AT&T is going to try to pull off a mega-merger of its own. These could be the start of a wave of mergers that should put federal regulators on high alert. AT&T's takeover of DirecTV is just the latest attempt at consolidation in a marketplace where consumers are already saddled with lousy service and price hikes. The rush is on for some of the biggest industry players to get even bigger, with consumers left on the losing end. You can't justify AT&T buying DirecTV by pointing at Comcast's grab for Time Warner, because neither one is a good deal for consumers.
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Unread 2014-05-18, 08:12 PM   #3
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Their first order of business will be to outsource ALL call centers
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Unread 2014-05-18, 09:12 PM   #4
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If they buy DirecTV, I will immediately cancel my DirecTV account. I hated having AT&T.
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Unread 2016-10-21, 10:34 PM   #5
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Report: AT&T Close To Acquiring Time Warner For $85 Billion





US telecom giant AT&T is reportedly in serious talks to acquire Time Warner, a proud owner of popular TV networks including HBO, Warner Brothers and CNN. According to a report by Wall Street Journal, the deal is fast approaching advanced stages and could become finalized as early as this weekend, with AT&T potentially offering the company around $85 billion, or about $110 per share. Just recently, there have been incidents where telecoms show continued interest to acquire media and tech companies. Verizon, America’s largest wireless carrier has already acquired AOL and is in another deal to acquire Yahoo as well. AT&T, America’s second largest wireless company only after Verizon, has been promoting Time Warner’s entertainment assets through its mobile, broadband and satellite TV services and it is now about time it acquires the company.
Time Warner has a market capitalization of about $65 billion and this makes it a perfect acquisition target for AT&T which has a market capitalization as high as about $238 billion. If the deal goes through, this means AT&T will add a host of media companies to its assets which would include HBO and the others mentioned above. AT&T has had a series of some acquisitions and one of the most recent ones was another satellite provider – DIECTV, which has proven to be a good investment for them so far.

As it appears now, the acquisition deal focuses on AT&T and Time Warner, but other reports state that it’s rumored Verizon could also place its bid near in the future if the deal between AT&T and Time Warner did not end well. This could increase tension between AT&T and Verizon, forcing the former to strengthen its bid in order to knock out the latter as its rival. It can be recalled that Timer Warner rejected a $75 billion buyout from 21st Century Fox two years ago, this shows that AT&T would likely need to offer a stronger bid mark to be able to close the deal with the company. Though the deal could close possibly this weekend, it is still unclear how much AT&T would offer Time Warner or what the settled on price would end up at, if the acquisition talks are true in fact more than just rumors. For the acquisition to go through, it is expected to go under some standard regulatory procedures before it closes.
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Unread 2016-10-21, 10:57 PM   #6
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And that should be shot down by the fcc/ftc
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Unread 2016-10-22, 01:27 AM   #7
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so TWC buys comcast, ATT buys Direct TV and then wants to buy TWC after they scooped up comcast? yeah it sounds like ATT wants a monopoly. Im sure the .gov won't let them take everything because that would leave small regional providers and google.
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Unread 2016-10-22, 09:38 AM   #8
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The fact that these companies have tens of billions of dollars to throw around makes my cell phone bill that much more annoying. I think I'm gonna try straight talk when my contract is up.
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Unread 2016-10-23, 02:01 AM   #9
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AT&T And Time Warner CEOs Confirm $85.4 Billion Deal






Earlier today, it was reported that AT&T, the American multinational telecommunications conglomerate, had reached an agreement to purchase Time Warner, a global leader in media and entertainment with businesses in television networks and film and TV entertainment.
This evening, AT&T chairman Randall Stephenson and Time Warner CEO Jeffrey Bewkes held a conference call in which they confirmed that AT&T has agreed to buy Time Warner for $85.4 billion, valuing the parent company of Warner Bros. and DC Comics at $107.50 per share.
“This is a perfect match of two companies with complementary strengths who can bring a fresh approach to how the media and communications industry works for customers, content creators, distributors and advertisers,” said AT&T chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson in an official press release (via Deadline). “Premium content always wins. It has been true on the big screen, the TV screen and now it’s proving true on the mobile screen. We’ll have the world’s best premium content with the networks to deliver it to every screen. A big customer pain point is paying for content once but not being able to access it on any device, anywhere. Our goal is to solve that. We intend to give customers unmatched choice, quality, value and experiences that will define the future of media and communications.
“With great content, you can build truly differentiated video services, whether it’s traditional TV, OTT or mobile. Our TV, mobile and broadband distribution and direct customer relationships provide unique insights from which we can offer addressable advertising and better tailor content,” Stephenson said. “It’s an integrated approach and we believe it’s the model that wins over time.




“Time Warner’s leadership, creative talent and content are second to none. Combine that with 100 million plus customers who subscribe to our TV, mobile and broadband services – and you have something really special,” said Stephenson. “It’s a great fit, and it creates immediate and long-term value for our shareholders.”
Time Warner Chairman and CEO Jeff Bewkes said, “This is a great day for Time Warner and its shareholders. Combining with AT&T dramatically accelerates our ability to deliver our great brands and premium content to consumers on a multiplatform basis and to capitalize on the tremendous opportunities created by the growing demand for video content. That’s been one of our most important strategic priorities and we’re already making great progress — both in partnership with our distributors, and on our own by connecting directly with consumers. Joining forces with AT&T will allow us to innovate even more quickly and create more value for consumers along with all our distribution and marketing partners, and allow us to build on a track record of creative and financial excellence that is second to none in our industry. In fact, when we announce our 3Q earnings, we will report revenue and operating income growth at each of our divisions, as well as double-digit earnings growth.
Bewkes continued, “This is a natural fit between two companies with great legacies of innovation that have shaped the modern media and communications landscape, and my senior management team and I are looking forward to working closely with Randall and our new colleagues as we begin to capture the tremendous opportunities this creates to make our content even more powerful, engaging and valuable for global audiences.”
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Unread 2016-10-24, 08:25 AM   #10
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Holy crap! that may be good news for LFK people trying to watch KU games.
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Unread 2016-10-24, 11:09 AM   #11
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can't see how it will be allowed...

AT&T will have a massive amount of debt as well
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Unread 2016-10-24, 12:02 PM   #12
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They aren't buying Time Warner Cable, they are just buying Time Warner's collection of networks like HBO etc.
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Unread 2016-10-25, 01:13 PM   #13
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Monopoly
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Unread 2018-06-14, 08:57 AM   #14
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AT&T & Time Warner Merger Approved With No Conditions


AT&T’s long battle to acquire Time Warner has just gotten closer to becoming a closed deal. Today, Judge, Richard Leon ruled that AT&T could purchase Time Warner. This comes after a pretty long court battle – and one that was delayed a few times – and nearly 20 months after AT&T announced its plans to purchase Time Warner. The Justice Department filed this lawsuit back in November to block the merger, arguing that AT&T could raise prices for content that is also licensed out to its competitors. Since Time Warner does own some properties including CNN and HBO, to name a few. But the Judge decided that it was okay for the two to merge.

AT&T wanted to purchase Time Warner to try and diversify its revenues, bringing in revenue from streaming services, rather than relying on wireless revenues and its services like cable TV and Internet services. This is something that many ISPs are now getting into, with Comcast purchasing NBCUniversal a few years ago, and Verizon picking up AOL and Yahoo recently. AT&T also argued in the case that this was a vertical merger, and that there was nothing funny going on here. Mentioning that Time Warner would lose a ton of money and value if AT&T did indeed charge more to competitors like Comcast and Verizon to use its media properties like CNN and HBO. That’s something that obviously made a lot of sense to the Judge here, and likely had an effect on his ruling today. AT&T’s legal team argued that AT&T needed Time Warner to be able to compete with digital giants such as Amazon, Google, Facebook, Netflix and YouTube, all of which are massive companies now – with larger market caps than AT&T.
With the case over with, AT&T and Time Warner are able to move onto the next phase of the merger. While the two companies did give themselves a deadline of June 21 to complete this merger, it may not be finished by then. This is because Judge Leon’s opinion could be taken over to the Court of Appeals in Washington DC for further review. Of course, AT&T and Time Warner weren’t the only ones waiting to see what the ruling was here. Comcast, and Disney have been in a bidding war for 21st Century Fox, and with the ruling in favor of AT&T, Comcast is likely to up its bid for 21st Century Fox. Of course, this also means that the likelihood of T-Mobile and Sprint’s merger being approved is greatly improved as well. This ruling is a big deal for the future of merger and acquisitions under Trump’s Justice Department.
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Unread 2018-06-14, 09:06 AM   #15
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Court Documents Explain Reasons Behind AT&T Merger Decision


A newly surfaced memorandum opinion filed alongside the recent ruling which allowed Time Warner and AT&T to merge without condition may provide some insight into the reasoning behind the decision. In effect, memorandum opinions are the collective opinions on the case from the judge’s perspective. In this case, those are the opinions of U.S. District Judge of D.C. Richard Leon and the memorandum was filed on June 12. Chief among the opinions provided, Judge Leon indicates that the current dominance of Google, Facebook, Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon has essentially left both AT&T and Time Warner isolated and unable to compete. The judge determined that both companies had serious obstacles to providing any sort of real competition, which could be easily overcome by both companies working together. Rather than forming multiple partnerships, Leon concluded, the companies would stand a better chance by utilizing their collective resources to innovate in terms of video, advertising, and wireless services.

Beyond that, Leon goes on to explain that the now merged companies were also at a disadvantage where targeted advertising is concerned and that the troubles were not at all helped by falling ad revenue for either company. More directly, the digital advertising revenues of either company’s biggest competition had long-since surpassed the ad revenue it was possible to generate on a television platform. With regard to Google and Facebook, the judge breaks things down a bit further. In particular, Judge Leon seems to have taken into account that for those two competitors, both content and platform for that advertising is basically provided at added little to no cost to the industry-leadingcompanies. By bringing the two together, the judge reasoned, AT&T and Time Warner would be able to innovate new services and platforms to address the growing trend toward cord-cutting services.
The sentiments seem to nearly echo the arguments put forward by AT&T and Time Warner against the U.S. Justice Department. The U.S. authority had argued that partnerships would be more well-suited to address the companies’ individual shortcomings. Predominantly, the defendants’ arguments centered around the fact that AT&T is strong in terms of wireless and paid television customers. Those would, in turn, work to augment Time Warner’s massive content holdings with more effective targetted advertising. Partnerships, the companies claimed, would require too much “bargaining friction” with each new project or innovation.

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Unread 2018-06-15, 08:38 AM   #16
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AT&T's $85.4 Billion Acquisition Of Warner Bros. Is Now Complete But What Does That Mean For DC?

AT&T's acquisition of Time Warner - the parent company of Warner Bros. and DC Comics - is now official but where does that leave characters like Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman? Here's what we know...

It's been in the offing for a while but yesterday, AT&T's massive $85.4 billion acquisition of Time Warner was made 100% official. It took a long time thanks to a government approval process which saw a federal judge have to decide whether or not the purchase could go through. With the green light given on Tuesday, though, the deal has been officially announced and AT&T now owns Warner Bros.

"The content and creative talent at Warner Bros., HBO and Turner are first-rate," said Randall Stephenson, chairman and CEO of AT&T Inc. in a statement yesterday. "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."

What this means for the DCEU currently remains to be seen. Top executives at Warner Bros. and DC leaving is inevitable as AT&T will look to bring in some new people and a change in leadership across the board is expected (some high ranking executives could be safe but only if it's decided that they've been doing a good job so far). The question is. will Walter Hamada remain in charge of DC's movies?
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Unread 2018-07-13, 08:46 AM   #17
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Justice Department files appeal to block Time Warner-AT&T merger [Update: AT&T responds]




AT&T's landmark deal to acquire Time Warner might not be sailing through the courts after all. After getting approval for the deal in June, the US Justice Department has filed documents to appeal the decision, threatening to up-end AT&T's next big expansion.

In June, US District Court Judge Richard Leon ruled that the deal was legal, but he went a step further and opted to impose no conditions on the deal. That's unusual for a merger of this scale. Companies are often required to sell off certain assets or agree to avoid certain activities for a period of time. For example, Comcast was ordered by the courts not to charge competing online streaming services higher prices for its content (until that condition expired this year).
The Justice Department says it has determined that an AT&T merger with Time Warner will make the media landscape less competitive. In the previous ruling, the judge found that the government had not met the burden of proof for its claim that the deal would harm competition. It will be interesting to see how it addresses that in the appeal. AT&T, obviously, does not agree with the DOJ's position and will unleash as many lawyers as it takes to push it through.

AT&T responds
AT&T has a spicey response to the Justice Department.
"The Court’s decision could hardly have been more thorough, fact-based, and well-reasoned. While the losing party in litigation always has the right to appeal if it wishes, we are surprised that the DOJ has chosen to do so under these circumstances. We are ready to defend the Court’s decision at the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals."
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