Discovery and AT&T cleared a big regulatory hurdle on Wednesday that put the 2 corporations on a glide path to shut a deal to mix Discovery and WarnerMedia within the subsequent two or three months.
The merger “glad the closing situation” as a part of an antitrust evaluate by the Division of Justice, Discovery mentioned in a regulatory submitting with the Securities and Trade Fee.
When closed, the deal will create one of many greatest media corporations within the nation, combining the belongings of HBO, Warner Bros. tv and movie studios, and the sports-heavy TNT and TBS networks with Discovery’s huge library of nonfiction programming, which incorporates Oprah Winfrey’s OWN, HGTV, the Meals Community and Animal Planet.
The announcement on Wednesday additionally signifies that Discovery and WarnerMedia executives ought to be capable to extra deeply interact with each other and conduct extra intimate enterprise critiques, which they might not do earlier than clearing the regulatory evaluate.
AT&T confronted intense authorities scrutiny when it bought Time Warner in October 2016. That deal was fiercely contested by the Justice Division and in limbo for 20 months earlier than lastly closing in June 2018.
By comparability, Discovery and AT&T introduced their plans to merge belongings 9 months in the past.
Within the coming weeks, Discovery could have a shareholder vote, which is extensively anticipated to go, and must start elevating greater than $30 billion in debt for the deal.
The Discovery chief government, David Zaslav, will take over the mixed firm when the merger is full, doubtlessly as quickly as April.
Within the meantime, each corporations are nonetheless shifting independently of one another. Discovery, the proprietor of Eurosport, is in superior negotiations to increase its sports activities enterprise in Britain. And final week, CNN’s president, Jeff Zucker, was compelled to resign.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/09/enterprise/discovery-warnermedia-merger-antitrust.html Discovery’s Merger With WarnerMedia Clears Antitrust Scrutiny