AT&T Brass: Warner Bros. Discovery Mega-Deal Should Be Complete By First Half of 2022
AT&T Senior Vice President Pascal Desroches said he was thrilled at the pace of the mega-deal between WarnerMedia and Discovery that was announced earlier this year. He said the merger should be approved and come to completion in the first half of 2022.
Desroches spoke during a Bank of America Securities conference on Tuesday morning.
“I couldn’t be more pleased with how the process is going. We are exactly where we thought we would be at this stage in the process,” he said. “When you look at the traditional rules of trust, we feel really good about the ability of business to be approved. And as we move, we’ll make our way through the process and expect that in the first half (of the year), this thing will close.”
This falls in line with the response from AT&T company officials during the company's Q2 2021 earnings call in late July.
“Regulatory agencies and documents are being reviewed,” CEO John Stankey said at the time. (We should) “Expect this to take a full year before a deal is done. It’s not a complicated transaction. We’re expecting a full and fulsome review.”
The two companies announced the merger in May in a deal that would see AT&T shareholders owning 71% of the new entity.
HBO Max has two tiers, an ad-supported plan for $9.99 and ad-free plan for $14.99. HBO Max without ads also includes features like the ability to download offline and 4K streaming.
They also will get Max Originals that aren’t available to HBO channel subscribers, like “The Flight Attendant” (Kaley Cuoco), “Love Life” (Anna Kendrick), as well as reboots to “Sex In The City” and “Gossip Girl.”
The combined company currently spends $20 billion a year on content, which is similar the Netflix content budget.
It will also see HBO Max and discovery+ absorbed by the new parent. It is not yet known whether the two services will be merged. That seems unlikely. There is a chance there could be a bundle with discounted pricing for both services.
AT&T bought Time Warner in 2018 for $85B. This is the third major transaction by AT&T in recent months. In February, the company sold a 30% stake in DirecTV to private equity firm Apollo. The company also sold Crunchyroll to Sony in December for $1.175 Billion.
discovery+ is a video streaming service that offers more than 55,000 episodes of 2,500+ current and classic shows from several popular TV brands including Discovery, Investigation Discovery, HGTV, TLC, Food Network, A&E, Lifetime, and History.
The service primarily focuses on non-fiction programming or “reality” TV shows.
discovery+ is available with limited ads for $4.99 / month or ad-free for $6.99 / month.