WarnerMedia Discovery Merger Gets Go-Ahead from FTC & Justice Dept





WarnerMedia and Discovery are one step closer to finalizing their merger. The Federal Trade Commission and the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice did not challenge the merger, according to an SEC filing from Discovery Wednesday morning.

The filing says “The HSR Act statutory waiting period has expired or otherwise been terminated, and any agreement not to consummate the transaction between the parties and the Federal Trade Commission or the Antitrust Division of the United States Department of Justice or any other applicable governmental entity, has also expired or otherwise been terminated,” referencing the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 which gives the FTC and Department of Justice a specified period of time to challenge.

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 $43-billion deal was supposed to close halfway through 2022 but now has been moved up to Q2 according to information shared on AT&T’s most recent earnings call. During that call, AT&T CEO John Stankey commented that the process of having the deal approved was going as expected and that the company was making “final preparations” to complete the merger.

Discovery President and CEO David Zaslav will run the merged company which will be called Warner Bros. Discovery. WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar is expected to step down when the merger is completed. The new company will own over 200,000 hours of programming and over 100 brands. The brands in the portfolio will include HBO, Warner Bros., Discovery, DC, CNN, WB Games, Turner Sports, Cartoon Network, HGTV, Food Network, TNT, TBS, Turner Classic Movies, Wizarding World, Adult Swim, Eurosport, Magnolia, TLC, Animal Planet, ID and many more.

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