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Sunday, Aug 14, 2022
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Discovery Deal for WarnerMedia Nears

In a move with some implications for the San Fernando Valley, Discovery and AT&T; have gained clearance for their deal in which AT&T; will spin off WarnerMedia and merge with Discovery.

The companies, which have won approval of U.S. antitrust regulators, disclosed the matter in two different filings Wednesday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

A statutory waiting period has expired or been terminated, AT&T; and Discovery each said in their respective filings, “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.”

The approval of Discovery shareholders will be the last hurdle to the merger moving forward but it is not expected to be an obstacle. AT&T; shareholders are not required to sign off on the deal.

The European Commission already approved the deal in December.

Last week, AT&T; announced that its board has decided to spin off the telecom giant’s interest in WarnerMedia rather than structure the media conglomerate’s divestiture as a split-off.

Discovery’s David Zaslav will become the CEO of the new merged company, which will be called Warner Bros. Discovery.

With the merger, Discovery will gain control of WarnerMedia, adding the Warner Brothers studio, Turner stations TNT and TBS cable networks, CNN and HBO all under one roof. The new company will operate HBO Max, Discovery Plus and CNN Plus, a soon-to-be-established streaming video channel. The new company will also include Warner Media’s U.S. sports rights, including the NBA, MLB and March Madness as well as Discovery’s Eurosport.

Warner Brothers studio and HBO Max are both based in Burbank.

The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter.

Michael Aushenker
Michael Aushenker
A graduate of Cornell University, Michael covers commercial real estate for the San Fernando Valley Business Journal. Prior to the Business Journal, Michael covered the community and entertainment beats as a staff writer for various newspapers, including the Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, The Palisadian-Post, The Argonaut and Acorn Newspapers. He has also freelanced for the Santa Barbara Independent, VC Reporter, Malibu Times and Los Feliz Ledger.
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