The big news over the weekend was the $86B deal AT&T put out to buy Time Warner.
This deal came together very quickly. News came out Thursday that they were talking, Friday brought “serious talks and Saturday brought the deal.
It appears price was no issue, since AT&T chief Randall Stephenson paid $107.50 a share — 36% over the stock price before the deal was leaked.
But why the urgency? This deal will be considered by the next administration, not this one. BTW, Donald Trump said on Saturday, he would not let this deal happen if he was president, due to anti-competitiveness and consumer pricing concerns.
Whomever wins the election, the hurdles will be high to get approval. There may be side deals to sell say HBO or TBS in order to get approval.
Jeff Bewkes, Time Warner chairman and CEO, turns 65 in May. Perhaps he saw this as a legacy boost, not sure but he made shareholders whole since he turned down the $85 a share offer he had from Rupert Murdoch’s 21 Century Fox back in 2014.
BTW, harken back to the infamous 2000 high-five between Gerald Levin and Steve Case announcing the $164 billion merger between Time Inc. and AOL.
Well, now Ma Bell may own Time Warner and Verizon — a former Baby Bell — owns AOL.
Content may be king, but the pipes matter.