AT&T Completes Time Warner Acquisition

AT&T closed its $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner on Thursday night, just hours after the Justice Department announced it would not seek a legal delay for the megamerger. The deal gives AT&T more than $180 billion in net debt and ownership of the Warner Bros. film studio, as well as cable-TV channels that include CNN and HBO. “We’re going to bring a fresh approach to how the media and entertainment industry works for consumers, content creators, distributors and advertisers,” AT&T Chief Executive Randall Stephenson said in a statement. Former Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes will serve as a senior adviser during the new business’ transition period, while AT&T executive John Stankey will take over. AT&T moved swiftly to complete the deal ahead of a June 20 deadline after antitrust officials said they were “still evaluating options” for an appeal after suffering a legal defeat in their efforts to block the deal. The Justice Department had sought to stop the merger over concerns it would violate antitrust laws.