AT&T and Time Warner have been in talks for some time now, but now it looks as though the two companies are close to wrapping things as proceedings are going as expected, says AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson.
In speaking with CNBC, Stephenson also said that in talking with President Trump—who opposed the deal—the merger wasn’t mentioned. While in the last few years this deal would’ve had a harder time getting through and might have ended up dead in the water, there appears to be more optimism that it will be completed.
For customers there could be incentives to have your cable service, internet, and mobile service all within AT&T’s network such as discounts, free months of premium services, and so on. For the two companies, AT&T would pick up a ton of Time Warner channels and studios. In an extreme case, channels that are pretty much a part of other service provider packages—like CNN, TNT, and HBO—could get pulled from those packages and be AT&T exclusive.
The deal has made major rumbles not just for the $85 billion price on it, but because of the path that it could set the business end of the television industry on if telecommunications companies have the ability to pull channels from competing cable providers’ lineups. This leaves it in the hands of regulators to prevent.