Surprisingly, the CEO of AT & T believes that the government merger appeal will fail – BGR



Prepare for this amazing turn of events, but Randall Stephenson, chief executive of AT & T, does not think much about the Justice Department's decision to appeal a ruling that would allow AT & T to merge with Time Warner. In an interview with CNBC on Friday morning, Stephenson said the chances of the decision being reversed are "really remote" and that his plans for the combined business will move forward independently.

"This does not change anything, I will do it in the next 30 days or in the next 12 months, we are about to execute our plan, we believe that the probability of this being reversed and annulled is really remote. very narrow that it would be necessary to travel for this to be reversed in some way, "said Stephenson CNBC in the interview. "The merger is closed, we own Time Warner."

The Department of Justice announced yesterday that it is planning to appeal the ruling, although it refused to request the suspension of the ruling, which means that AT & T has been free to gobble up Time Warner in the meantime. With the merger approved by the judge, AT & T has already taken steps to integrate Time Warner into its business. It has been rebranded as WarnerMedia, and AT & T has launched a $ 15 per month streaming service that largely uses some of the content owned by WarnerMedia.

AT & T has also increased rates for wireless clients and its DirecTV Now service since the merger's closure, which goes against the statements of its expert witnesses in the case, who said merging with Time Warner would create efficiencies and it would allow the company to lower the prices charged to consumers. "The more participation you have, the more opportunities you have to create value," Stephenson said on CNBC . "When people hear what they say, that means they're going to be pumping a lot more content to HBO." Maybe, but we're seeing a lot of different avenues to boost engagement, we have a lot of digital properties. "

The Department of Justice's main argument against the merger was that, by owning Time Warner content, which includes essential channels such as CNN, AT & T could increase prices for pay TV rivals and keep costs prohibitive. for online transmission services. The transition to broadcast services, away from traditional cable, is costing pay companies millions of subscribers and billions in revenue each year.

With the control of an important part of the content, AT & T is in a good place to maintain high prices among the rivals and prevent TV transmission services from offering cable alternatives at a reduced price. With the fact that Internet at home is increasingly becoming a reality, cable companies face the prospect of millions of subscribers cutting the cable for the next decade.

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