Now that Donald Trump has been elected President, there are several stances he took during the campaign to see if he follows through as the Chief Executive of the United States. One of them was regarding the AT&T purchase of Time Warner. During an October 22 speech, Trump fully addressed the idea:
“As an example of the power structure I’m fighting, AT&T is buying Time Warner and thus CNN — a deal we will not approve in my administration because it’s too much concentration of power in the hands of too few.”
Trump has set his targets on the media throughout the campaign, in particular CNN which is owned by Time Warner as well as Comcast which purchased NBCUniversal in 2011. Trump said he would also look to break up Comcast saying it was too big.
AT&T is hoping to purchase Time Warner to help it provide content for its DirecTV satellite system and DirecTV Now streaming service which is expected to launch later this year.
Now, if Trump follows through, it could stop a wave of media mergers and acquisitions. But AT&T says it’s hoping that Trump will be amenable to its purchase. AT&T Chief Finnacial Officer John Stephens told investors that he’s still optimistic that the deal will be approved.
The AT&T deal has to await federal approval so we’ll see how a Trump Administration handles it, deciding to disapprove or to sign off.
If it goes through, AT&T will have a hold on plenty of content including sports programming like Turner Sports properties like MLB, NBA, NCAA Tournament and the PGA Championship and HBO Sports programming like boxing, Real Sports and documentaries as well digital properties like Bleacher Report and The Ringer.
It’s going to an interesting 2017 for deals.