Time Warner agrees to $86bn takeover deal by AT&T

Time Warner has agreed to a $86 billion takeover by the telecommunications company AT&T.

If the move is approved by regulators, the deal has been billed as the biggest of the year and will hand control of the TV channels HBO an CNN. The film studio Warner Bros and other media assets to AT&T.

That would include the rights to the popular DC Comics and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter properties.

AT&T will pay $107.50 per Time Warner share, half in cash and half in stock in a deal the firm expects to close by the end of 2017.

However, US lawmakers have already expressed concern over the deal, calling for close regulatory scrutiny.

“Such a massive consolidation in this industry requires rigorous evaluation and serious scrutiny,” said US senator Richard Blumenthal, Senate Judiciary Committee member and former attorney general of Connecticut.

“I will be looking closely at what this merger means for consumers and their pocketbooks.”

US Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said at a rally he would block any AT&T and Time Warner deal if he wins the November 8th election.

“It’s too much concentration of power in the hands of too few,” he said of the deal.

Despite the concerns, AT&T’s chief executive Randall Stephenson believes regulators will approve the deal.

“There is no competitive harm being rendered by putting these two companies together, so any concerns by the regulators, we believe, will be adequately addressed by conditions.”

About Robert Hutchins

Robert Hutchins is the editor of Licensing.biz and ToyNews. Hutchins has worked his way up from Staff Writer to the position of Editor across the two titles, having spent almost eight years with both ToyNews and Licensing.biz, and what now seems like a lifetime surrounded by toys. You can contact him by emailing robert.hutchins@biz-media.co.uk or calling him on 0203 143 8780 You can even follow him on Twitter @RobGHutchins if ranting is your thing...

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