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'Time Warner' Articles

U.S. DoJ Says Ruling Approving AT&T-Time Warner Merger Ignored 'Fundamental Principles of Economics and Common Sense'

The U.S. Department of Justice today filed an appeal with the District of Columbia Appeals Court protesting the June ruling that allowed the merger between AT&T and Time Warner to move forward, reports The Washington Post. In the filing, the DoJ says the district court approved the merger after "erroneously ignoring fundamental principles of economics and common sense" and that it used a "deeply flawed assessment of the government's evidence" to reach its decision. According to the DoJ, AT&T's access to Time Warner's content, including the highly important Turner Broadcasting System, which includes CNN, Cartoon Network, TBS, TNT, and other networks, gives it bargaining leverage over rivals, which could drive up access fees, ultimately resulting in higher prices for consumers. The original ruling approving the merger, says the DoJ, ignored key documents from AT&T on the competitive harm of vertical mergers, limited expert economic testimony, and refused to close the courtroom to allow for testimony related to confidential business information. Further, the DoJ insists the original ruling ignored the economics of bargaining and did not consider corporate profit maximization.The government established a reasonable probability that the AT&T-Time Warner merger would increase Time Warner's bargaining leverage and, thus, substantially lessen competition, in violation of Section 7 of the Clayton Act. The district court's contrary conclusion rests on two fundamental analytical errors: it discarded the economics of bargaining, and it failed to apply the foundational

U.S. Department of Justice Files Appeal to Block AT&T and Time Warner Merger

A month after a judge approved AT&T's $85.4 billion purchase of Time Warner with no conditions, the United States Department of Justice has announced plans to appeal the merger's approval. In a court document filed with the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, the DoJ announced its formal appeal. No additional data was included in the initial document.Notice is hereby given that the United States of America, plaintiff in the above named case, appeals to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit from the final judgment entered in this action on June 12, 2018.AT&T first announced its plan to purchase Time Warner in late 2017, but the acquisition was put on hold when the DoJ filed a lawsuit to put a stop to the merger based on the grounds that it would result in higher bills and fewer options for consumers. A judge in June, however, ruled that the merger was legal, and while the Justice Department said it was disappointed in the court's ruling and would consider its next steps "in light of [its] commitment to preserving competition for the benefit of American consumers," it ultimately decided not to interfere with a stay at the time that the ruling was announced. Just days after the judge's approval, AT&T completed its acquisition of Time Warner, but the DoJ is still able to appeal the decision even after the completion of the merger. Shortly after the acquisition, AT&T announced a new WatchTV service that offers AT&T wireless subscribers under the new "AT&T Unlimited &More" and "AT&T Unlimited &More Premium"

AT&T and Warner Media Leadership Outline Changes Coming to HBO Over the Next Year

On June 19, former AT&T executive and new chief executive of Warner Media John Stankey spoke to a group of HBO employees about changes coming to the premium cable company in the near future. The discussion was held in the wake of AT&T's acquisition of Time Warner, which owns HBO, and also included HBO's chief executive officer Richard Plepler. The telecommunications company previously stated that it would take a "hands-off approach" to running HBO, but The New York Times this weekend reported on Stankey's speech and it sounds like that might not be the case. According to a video of the discussion, Stankey explained Warner Media's intent to align HBO more alongside streaming companies like Netflix in order to increase its subscriber base, although he refrained from referencing Netflix by name. This means creating more content that releases at a faster pace, in comparison to HBO's current stable of limited Sunday night-focused shows. According to Stankey, the goal is to increase the hours per day viewers watch HBO, which is currently less than rivals like Netflix and Hulu because of HBO's smaller catalog. “We need hours a day,” Mr. Stankey said, referring to the time viewers spend watching HBO programs. “It’s not hours a week, and it’s not hours a month. We need hours a day. You are competing with devices that sit in people’s hands that capture their attention every 15 minutes.” Continuing this thread, Stankey specifically stated that more hours of user engagement means that Warner Media can "get more data and information" to monetize through advertisements and new

AT&T Follows Time Warner Acquisition With Reveal of Live 'WatchTV' Service and New Unlimited Phone Plans

One week after completing its acquisition of Time Warner, AT&T today announced the impending launch of an all-new live TV service called "WatchTV," which unsurprisingly includes many channels under the Time Warner umbrella (via Engadget). This appears to be the service not focused on sports that AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said in April would be coming very soon. The announcement came alongside AT&T's reveal of two new unlimited wireless plans, called "AT&T Unlimited &More" and "AT&T Unlimited &More Premium." WatchTV will be directly tied into these cellular plans, offering plan subscribers access to the TV service at no additional cost. The service includes 30+ live channels, over 15,000 TV shows and movies on demand, and will be available on "virtually every" smartphone, tablet, browser, and streaming device. Subscribers to &More Premium will be able to add one of several premium services for no extra charge: HBO, SHOWTIME, Cinemax, Starz, Amazon Music Unlimited, Pandora Premium, or VRV. Here's the full list of channels available on WatchTV at launch: A&E AMC Animal Planet Audience BBC World News BBC America Boomerang Cartoon Network CNN Discovery Food Network FYI Hallmark Channel Hallmark Movies & Mysteries HGTV HistoryHLN IFC Investigation Discovery Lifetime Lifetime Movies OWN Sundance TV TBS TCM TLC TNT TRU TV Velocity Viceland WE TVChannels coming soon after launch include: BET Comedy Central MTV 2 Nicktoons Teennick VH1 The &More Premium plan (starting at $80/month for an individual line) offers WatchTV, a premium

AT&T Completes Acquisition of Time Warner

AT&T this afternoon announced that it has completed its acquisition of Time Warner, just two days after a U.S. District Court Judge ruled that the merger could move forward. "The content and creative talent at Warner Bros., HBO and Turner are first-rate. Combine all that with AT&T's strengths in direct-to-consumer distribution, and we offer customers a differentiated, high-quality, mobile-first entertainment experience," said Randall Stephenson, chairman and CEO of AT&T Inc. "We're going to bring a fresh approach to how the media and entertainment industry works for consumers, content creators, distributors and advertisers."The news comes after the United States Justice Department said that it would not seek a stay to stop the merger from happening. The DoJ can, however, appeal the decision if it chooses to do so even after the completion of the merger. In a statement earlier this week, the DoJ said it believes that the merger between the two companies will make the pay TV market "less competitive and less innovative." AT&T's purchase of Time Warner had been on hold since November, when the Justice Department filed a lawsuit to put a stop to it based on the argument that it would lead to higher bills and fewer options for consumers. AT&T's successful acquisition of Time Warner and the judge's ruling in favor of the two companies has already had an impact on the television market, with Comcast moving forward with a $65 billion all-cash offer for Fox's

U.S. Justice Department Files Lawsuit to Block Merger Between AT&T and Time Warner

The United States Justice Department today filed a lawsuit to stop a planned merger between AT&T and Time Warner, reports Bloomberg. The DOJ believes such a merger would result in higher bills and fewer options for consumers."This merger would greatly harm American consumers. It would mean higher monthly television bills and fewer of the new, emerging innovative options that consumers are beginning to enjoy," said Makan Delrahim, the head of the department's antitrust division.According to Bloomberg, this is the first time in several decades that the DOJ has sued to block a vertical deal, aka a merger between two companies that do not directly compete with one another. The lawsuit comes following a request from antitrust head Delrahim that the two companies sell either the Turner broadcasting unit or DirecTV, which AT&T refused to do. Given that the DOJ does not usually step in to block vertical deals, it is unclear how this legal battle will play out in court. Other similar deals, such as Comcast's purchase of NBC Universal, have gone through after certain conditions have been put in place. AT&T and Time Warner have been in talks over a merger since late 2016, with AT&T planning to shell out $85.4 billion for Time Warner. AT&T says the DOJ's lawsuit is a "radical and inexplicable departure from decades of antitrust precedent," and that it is confident the court will reject the claims and allow the merger to proceed. Apple at one time was rumored to be interested in a Time Warner purchase and was said to have monitored the deal between AT&T/Time Warner closely,

Apple 'Not Interested' in Outbidding AT&T to Acquire Time Warner

Apple is "not interested" in buying media company Time Warner currently, according to "people familiar with the thinking at the company" who spoke today with CNBC. Two weeks ago, AT&T announced its interest to purchase Time Warner for $85.4 billion, but as noted today, the regulatory process taken in such acquisitions "could last for months," and at any time another company could swoop in with a better offer. As of now, that won't be Apple. The news comes from David Faber on CNBC's market coverage business show "Squawk on the Street:" The question of course that has come back to focus on Apple. In fact Bewkes asked on the call were there any companies this year that showed interest in acquiring Time Warner. Mr. Bewkes' answer was let's focus on AT&T. What I can tell you about Apple guys, is right now, according to people familiar with its thinking, it's not interested. Apple is not interested in buying Time Warner at present. Now, these things go on for months and months, this regulatory review's going to take at least a year. The deal will not close. Certainly if you're in Apple, things could change. You watch the stock price as you see how things progress. But anybody expecting an overbid from Apple at this point, certainly, it is not coming. Again, they are sort of not interested at this time. And it doesn't appear that there would be any other potential interest. Google certainly had been mentioned at one point or another. But right now, it's AT&T's, it will be AT&T's, and the question is do they get it through, what conditions do they agree to in order to get

Apple 'Monitoring' AT&T's Potential Time Warner Acquisition

Amid rumors suggesting AT&T is considering purchasing Time Warner, the parent company of networks like CNN and HBO, The Wall Street Journal says Apple is keeping a close eye on the situation as it would have a major impact on the television industry and could potentially impact future television deals Apple might make with the two companies. Apple at one time was reportedly in talks with Time Warner about a potential streaming television deal and has been rumored to have been interested in purchasing Time Warner assets at one time, but negotiations stalled and the two companies are no longer holding talks. Apple Inc. a few months ago approached Time Warner Inc. about pursuing a combination, but the discussions didn't progress beyond a preliminary stage and none are currently under way, people familiar with the matter said Friday. [...] From Apple's end, executives under Chief Executive Tim Cook were involved in the earlier talks, and now Apple is monitoring the current situation, one of the people saidTime Warner owns a huge number of assets that could have serve as the foundation of a streaming television service should Apple have struck a deal with the company. Networks like CNN, HBO, TBS, TNT, NBA TV, Cartoon Network, and Warner Bros. are all under Time Warner's umbrella, but with AT&T and Time Warner in "advanced talks" it seems unlikely Apple will do more than "monitor" the situation. A deal between AT&T and Time Warner could be finalized as early as this weekend, but The Wall Street Journal suggests "a host of other contenders" could offer deals for Time

AT&T in 'Advanced Talks' to Acquire CNN and HBO Parent Company Time Warner [Updated]

AT&T is in "advanced talks" to acquire media company Time Warner, and a deal could be finalized as early as this weekend, according to The Wall Street Journal. Bloomberg on Thursday said senior executives at AT&T and Time Warner met in recent weeks to discuss a possible merger, but it said the talks were informal at that stage.The talks toward what likely would be a cash-and-stock deal have come together quickly, are fluid, and still could fall through, according the people familiar with the matter. An agreement also could be delayed, they said.Time Warner CEO Jeffrey Bewkes has previously told investors he would entertain a sale of the media company, but only if it feels the price is right. In 2014, Bewkes and his board reportedly turned down an $85-a-share offer from 21st Century Fox, which valued Time Warner at more than $75 billion. AT&T, looking to add more content and original programming, would gain a number of valuable assets from Time Warner, including CNN, HBO, TBS, TNT, NBA basketball, Cartoon Network and the Warner Bros. film and TV studio. Popular series airing on those networks include, among others, Game of Thrones and Silicon Valley. New York Post sources said Apple was a possible suitor to purchase Time Warner earlier this year, which Financial Times later said was an idea proposed by Apple's services chief Eddy Cue. The discussions reportedly never progressed beyond the preliminary stage, however, and did not involve Apple CEO Tim Cook or Bewkes. An acquisition would have provided Apple with content for its much-rumored streaming TV service,

Time Warner Buys 10 Percent Stake in Hulu to Help Bolster Live-Streaming Service

Time Warner has officially taken a 10 percent ownership stake in popular streaming service Hulu, joining a list of companies already invested, including Disney, 21st Century Fox and Comcast/NBC Universal. Time Warner is preparing to invest $583 million into Hulu, "implying Hulu is worth nearly $6 billion," as Variety pointed out. The split now divides Hulu up by 30 percent shares for each of the previous three owners, leaving 10 percent for Time Warner's new co-ownership. The new partner won't directly contribute any of its network shows into Hulu's current services, but it will help bolster the company's upcoming live-streaming service with Time Warner's line up of channels. Specifically, Time Warner owns TNT, TBS, CNN, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, truTV, Boomerang and Turner Classic Movies. Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins said, “This investment from Time Warner marks a major step for Hulu as we continue to redefine television for both consumers and advertisers. Our two companies have long enjoyed a productive relationship – which includes the availability of past seasons of popular Turner shows on our current SVOD offerings – and we are very proud that Turner’s networks will be included in our planned live streaming service.” Earlier in May, it was rumored that Apple had considered purchasing Time Warner, to potentially use the company's assets as a basis for Apple's own streaming TV service. Yesterday, in an interview with Bloomberg, Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes mentioned that this idea -- reportedly begun by Apple Executive Eddy Cue -- landed more on the side of a mutual

Eddy Cue Says Apple 'Not Trying to Create TV Shows,' But Willing to Help Where Possible

Apple executive Eddy Cue, who oversees services like the iTunes Store, Apple Music, Apple Pay, Siri, Maps, and iAd, sat down for a wide-ranging interview with The Hollywood Reporter about the future of Apple TV, the company's relationship with Hollywood studios, and more. When questioned about the original programming space, Cue said Apple is not in the business of trying to create TV shows, nor is it trying to compete with the likes of Netflix or Comcast. Instead, he said Apple may "help" producers, as it is doing for Planet of the Apps.We're not in the business of trying to create TV shows. If we see it being complementary to the things we're doing at Apple Music or if we see it being something that's innovative on our platform, we may help them and guide them and make suggestions. But we're not trying to compete with Netflix or compete with Comcast.Cue also downplayed rumors about Apple's interest in purchasing Time Warner, stating that the company is "not actively trying to buy any studio" right now.In general, there's always a lot of speculation across many different companies, and some of that relates to the fact that we have a lot of money and so, therefore, we can afford to make acquisitions. So we have a lot of discussions with [Time Warner], but I don't want to speculate. We're not — at this point, certainly — actively trying to buy any studio.Cue said Apple is only interested in entering the content space when the projects are tied to its existing products, which for now is Apple Music.The rest of it is about giving [talent] a platform that allows them to be

Apple to Ramp Up Original Content, Considered Buying Time Warner Last Year

iTunes and services chief Eddy Cue proposed the idea of Apple bidding on media conglomerate Time Warner at the end of last year, according to the FT. The discussions reportedly never progressed beyond the preliminary stage, however, and did not involve Apple CEO Tim Cook or Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes. The meetings had reportedly been arranged for the companies to discuss other partnerships, such as the inclusion of Time Warner assets in Apple's much-rumored streaming TV service. Time Warner and its subsidiaries own several iconic media properties, including CNN, HBO, TBS, and TNT, that would be appropriate for a Netflix-like service streamable on the Apple TV, Mac, iPhone, iPad, and other devices. The company also holds the broadcast rights for the NBA in the United States. The report adds that Apple plans to ramp up spending on original content to "several hundred million dollars a year" in order to better compete with rivals like Amazon and Netflix, both of which offer a growing number of exclusive TV series. Earlier this year, it was reported that Apple executives met with TV producers and Hollywood studios about developing original TV shows that it would offer exclusively to its iTunes customers. Those discussions were also reportedly led by Cue and Robert Kondrk, vice-president of iTunes content. The original content could spearhead Apple's plans to launch its streaming TV service, which has been delayed due to its difficulties in securing deals with media providers like CBS, ABC, Fox, Disney, Discovery, and Viacom. Earlier reports claimed that

Apple Shows Interest in Buying Time Warner Assets for Streaming TV Service

Time Warner CEO Jeffrey Bewkes reportedly told investors on Monday that he would entertain a sale of the media company, and Apple is a possible suitor, according to the New York Post. AT&T, which owns DirecTV, and Fox are also said to have shown interest.Eddy Cue, one of Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook’s top lieutenants, in charge of content deals, has been keeping tabs on proceedings at Time Warner, a source close to Apple said.Time Warner owns a large number of assets that could lay the foundation for Apple's much-rumored streaming TV service, including CNN, HBO, TBS, TNT, NBA TV, Cartoon Network and its Warner Bros. division. A deal could allow Apple to offer a skinny bundle of channels airing popular TV shows for all ages like Adventure Time, Game of Thrones, Sesame Street, Silicon Valley and Veep. Apple's streaming TV service has reportedly been placed on hold due to its difficulties in securing deals with content owners, but striking a deal with Time Warner would allow the company to reconsider offering a skinny bundle of channels through a Netflix-like service for Apple TV, Mac, iPad, iPhone and other devices. Apple has previously been in talks with CBS, ABC, Fox, Disney, Viacom, Discovery and others about launching a web-based streaming service that would bundle approximately 25 channels for $30 to $40 per month, but content owners have been reluctant to give up control of the living room up to this point. For now, fourth-generation Apple TV owners can stream select on-demand content from tvOS apps like ABC News, CNNgo, Fox NOW, HBO NOW, MLB.TV Premium, NBC

Time Warner CEO 'Pretty Confident' Apple Will Launch Streaming TV Service

During a recent earnings call relayed by CNET, Time Warner CEO Jeffrey Bewkes said he believes Apple will launch an Internet-based television service and that Apple is "very forward-thinking" when it comes to TV."We think Apple is very forward-thinking about television," he said, noting the computer maker's deal with Time Warner as the launch partner of streaming service HBO Now. "It's no surprise to anyone that Apple would be interested in launching a TV product."It is not clear if Bewkes has insider knowledge regarding Apple's television plans, but Apple and Time Warner have been entwined in deals several times in the past, most recently with the HBO Now deal. Apple and Time Warner, HBO's parent company, partnered up for the HBO Now launch, with Apple's Apple TV and iOS devices being some of the first to offer the HBO Now service. Aimed at cord cutters, HBO Now is priced at $14.99 and offers all of HBO's content without a cable subscription. Beyond HBO Now, Apple and Time Warner have discussed television many times in the past and have attempted to establish content deals, but those have yet to materialize. Apple's ongoing difficulties establishing content deals with companies like Time Warner have spanned several years and have repeatedly delayed its television efforts. Apple's inability to convince cable companies and content providers to change the status quo has also caused Apple to scale back on its ambitious television plans. Apple may have begun having more luck getting companies on board with its television plans, however, as recent rumors have indeed

Viacom Sues Cablevision Over Live TV App for iPad, Negotiating Settlement With Time Warner

Back in March, cable provider Time Warner launched an iPad app that allowed subscribers to the company's TV and Internet services to access live TV from a number of channels via their iPads while on their home Wi-Fi networks. The cable company was forced, however, to quickly pull channels from several content providers who objected to the usage. Disputes with Fox and Discovery were resolved within weeks, while Time Warner filed suit against Viacom over the issue, claiming that its contract did allow the cable provider to broadcast channels such as Comedy Central, MTV, and Nickelodeon to iPads. Cablevision's Optimum for iPad live TV app In the meantime, Cablevision launched its own iPad app bringing full access to the cable company's cable lineup as well as on-demand content. In the process, Cablevision took content providers head-on with statements laying out its position that such an offering was allowable under carriage contracts for the various channels. Things had been quiet for the past several months, but a couple of developments yesterday and today are reigniting the debate. Yesterday, The Wall Street Journal reported that Time Warner and Viacom have placed their legal dispute on hold as they work toward a settlement.The two companies said in a court filing made public Wednesday that they had reached a "standstill agreement," which put all the litigation on hold as of June 17. "In an attempt to resolve this and other litigation and potential litigation, the parties have entered into a standstill agreement," the parties said in the agreement. The two