Things are heating up with AT&Ts pending merger between WarnerMedia and Discovery. The $43-billion deal was supposed to close halfway through 2022, but now has been moved up to Q2 according to information shared on Wednesday’s earnings call.
“We’re encouraged with how the process for the WarnerMedia deal is progressing,” said AT&T CEO John Stankey on a call to analysts.
A “definitive agreement” between AT&T and Discovery was announced in May 2021. “This agreement unites two entertainment leaders with complementary content strengths and positions the new company to be one of the leading global direct-to-consumer streaming platforms,” Stankey said when that announcement was made.
The merger is pushing forward despite raising major concerns among Congress members that the two media companies joining forces could pose harm to consumers, employees, and more. On Wednesday’s call, Stankey commented that the process of having the deal approved was going as expected and that the company is making “final preparations” to complete the deal now.
The massive merger would put brands such as HBO, CNN, Animal Planet and Food Network under a new publicly traded company called Warner Bros. Discovery. “We love the new company’s name because it represents the combination of Warner Bros.’ fabled hundred year legacy of creative, authentic storytelling and taking bold risks to bring the most amazing stories to life, with Discovery’s global brand that has always stood brightly for integrity, innovation and inspiration.,” Discovery CEO David Zaslav said of the new name.
WarnerMedia shareholders would own 71% and Discovery shareholders 29% of the new company.