Clinton expresses concern about AT&T-Time Warner deal
- Author: Sonia Alvarado Nov 03, 2016,
Nov 03, 2016, 1:32
Or cable and satellite operators?
AT&T's proposed $85 billion (69.41 billion pounds) acquisition of Time Warner would give the media company's networks, such as HBO, Cinemax and Turner, potentially unprecedented data about viewers who have AT&T cell phones and DirecTV accounts.
Amid a rising tide of angry criticism from both the political right and left, The United States Senate has set a date for a hearing on the proposed merger between AT&T and Time Warner.
However, shares of Time Warner are trading at a wide discount to AT&T's takeover price, suggesting Wall Street is anxious about the transaction closing.
There's more at play than a pay-TV operator hedging its bets. Equities analysts predict that Time Warner will post $5.43 EPS for the current fiscal year.
Investors are skeptical that regulators will approve the transaction. A savvy viewer can put together a full palette of digital-programming choices, from sports to HBO, without paying a monthly cable bill. Time Warner had a return on equity of 17.33% and a net margin of 14.54%. Time Warner's HBO past year rolled out an online version of its service for people who don't pay for cable.
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NEW YORK/WASHINGTON Media companies plan to ask USA regulators to force AT&T Inc and Time Warner Inc to share their trove of customer data if the telecom and content companies merge, fearing the combined behemoth would have an unfair advantage selling targeted mobile advertising, a handful of media executives told Reuters this week.
He made no mention of the Federal Communications Commission, which may or may not review the deal depending on which licenses Time Warner hold. Walt Disney briefly considered buying Twitter, as Disney seeks fresh ways to distribute its channels like ESPN directly to consumers online.
AT&T and Time Warner disagree and pointed to DirectTV Now, the streaming video content service it is launching next month as evidence it won't price gouge. Others argue that Comcast's purchase of NBCUniversal in 2011 has demonstrated few clear synergies between the businesses. The doubters also see a potential culture clash between a massive phone company and one with a flashy Hollywood studio background.
AT&T would love to avoid an FCC review, which in the past has killed deals such as AT&T/T-Mobile and Comcast/Time Warner Cable.
Already, politicians, other media companies, and consumer groups are lining up in opposition. "We need more diverse media ownership, not less".
AT&T's failed bid for T-Mobile, on the other hand, was a "horizontal integration" because it would have merged two competitors.