One of the leading internet providers in the country, AT&T® is still holding discussions with the US Department of Justice about their planned $85.4 billion acquisition of Time Warner®. John Stephens, who is the CFO of the telecom giant, recently claimed that he is still confident that AT&T® will seal the deal soon.
In addition to that, the officials from the telecom company also disclosed that their online streaming service, DirecTV Now® recently hit the 900,000 subscriber mark. DirecTV Now® was launched by AT&T® back in November 2016 and these numbers indicate that the streaming service has already become a big success.
The officials from AT&T® said, “About half of these subscribers are cord-cutters or cord-nevers, with about 10 percent of those coming from AT&T’s DirecTV® and U-Verse® services. The other half has migrated from other traditional TV providers.”
In addition to that, Stephens also talked about their acquisition of Time Warner® and said, “We are in discussions with the DOJ.” However, he refused to share information regarding the recent discussions of AT&T® with the Department of Justice. Yet, he stated that the timing of the close of Time Warner® merger remains uncertain currently.
Stephens said, “We continue to believe that the transaction will close. If you look at the antitrust history, the facts, law, the economics, [that leads to] the conclusion that we will be able to close.”
Reports from several sources had earlier claimed that AT&T® would be selling CNN, DirecTV®, or even the entire Turner cable networks unit of Time Warner® to close the merger between the two parties. Randall Stephenson, who is the CEO and Chairman of AT&T® responded to these false reports and said, “Irrespective of what you read yesterday, I have never been told that the price of getting the deal done is CNN. Period. And, likewise, I have never offered to sell CNN.”
The AT&T CEO also said that, “from an antitrust perspective, it’s illogical for me to think this deal doesn’t get approved.” It is reported that the US Department of Justice would most probably file a lawsuit in a few days to block the merger between the companies. Yet if the estimated deal is completed, the entertainment executive of AT&T®, John Stankey will most likely oversee Time Warner®, which means that he will be able to control HBO, CNN, and more networks.