AT&T Buys Time Warner – CWEB.com
Today Judge Richard Leon has found for AT&T (NYSE:T) in the telecom giant’s landmark trial over an $80 Billion plus buyout of Time Warner (NYSE:TWX), allowing the blockbuster deal to proceed without remedies.
The decision also signals a likely green light for more and faster media consolidation, most notably potential competing bids for the media assets of Fox (FOX, FOXA) from Disney (NYSE:DIS) and Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA), and bids for European broadcaster Sky (OTCQX:SKYAY) from some permutation of Disney, Fox and Comcast.
AT&T had previously indicated that with the lengthy time involved in the deal, it was prepared to close quickly if it got a clear go-ahead in this case, so we expect to hear details very quickly.
Judge Leon has also said he would deny a stay on the deal if requested by the Justice Dept., meaning that even if DOJ appeals, the companies are free to close. That could discourage an appeal entirely.
Analysts expect today’s decision to clear the way for Disney or Comcast to buy 21st Century Fox.
AT&T applauded the court’s decision and said it expected to close the merger before the June 21 contractual deadline.
Shares of other media and telecom companies also rose, including T-Mobile US Inc, Sprint Corp, CBS Corp, Dish Network Corp, Discovery Inc and Viacom Inc.
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