EC gives approval of Discovery’s WarnerMedia acquisition | Major Businesses | Business | News | Rapid TV News
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Removing a massive potential roadblock from the telco’s strategic ambition to offload a major non infrastructure asset to the media giant, the European Commission (EC) has granted unconditional antitrust clearance of Discovery’s proposed acquisition of AT&T’s WarnerMedia business.
ATT WarnerMedia Discovery 17 May 2021
First announced in May 2021, AT&T and Discovery described the deal as “monumental” and likely to lead to a reshaping of the media landscape, Valued at $43 billion, it will combine WarnerMedia premium entertainment, sports and news assets with Discovery's entertainment and sports businesses.

AT&T and Discovery say their move will bring together the strongest leadership teams, content creators, and high-quality series and film libraries in the media business and unite complementary and diverse content strengths with broad appeal. That is, combining WarnerMedia’s studios and portfolio of scripted entertainment, animation, news and sports with Discovery’s focus on unscripted and international entertainment and sports.
The new company will own one of the deepest libraries in the world with nearly 200,000 hours of programming from over 100 leading brands including HBO, HBO Max, Warner Bros., Discovery, DC Comics, CNN, Cartoon Network, HGTV, Food Network, the Turner Networks, TNT, TBS, Eurosport, Magnolia, TLC, Animal Planet and ID.

Moreover, the merged firm is seen as having would have the necessary scale and financial clout to offer serious competition in the direct-to-consumer (DTC) arena with the likes of Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video. The HBO and HBO Max assets are calculated to boast in the region of 64 million customers and the core Discovery brand is said to reach almost 90 million US homes.

Gaining EC approval for the deal, said David Zaslav, president and chief executive officer of Discovery and future CEO of the combined company, was a key milestone. He added: “Today we move one important step closer to creating Warner Bros. Discovery, a premier entertainment company that will be one of the world’s leading investors in premium content and one positioned to serve consumers with what we believe will be the most complete content offering under one roof.”

Discovery currently anticipates the closing of the WarnerMedia transaction to occur in mid-2022, subject to approval by Discovery stockholders and additional customary closing conditions, including other regulatory approvals. No approval is required by AT&T stockholders.