AT&T-Time Warner Proposed Deal Draws Fire From Sanders, Clinton, Trump

AT&T-Time Warner Proposed Deal Draws Fire From Sanders, Clinton, Trump

A bipartisan group of senators on the Judiciary Committee called on former Time Warner Cable CEO Robert Marcus to attend a December 7 hearing on the merger, which has raised anti-trust concerns and elicited a fair amount of criticism. The service is being priced at $35 a month, which undercuts most rivals in the streaming content business.

Numerous government's restrictions were created to prevent Comcast, a giant cable company and internet-service provider, from favoring its own video offerings over those from online TV rivals like Netflix or, on the other hand, keeping its programming from other cable or satellite TV companies. Finally, RBC Capital Markets restated an "outperform" rating and issued a $95.00 price target (up previously from $92.00) on shares of Time Warner in a research note on Thursday, August 4th.

But instead of summoning Jeff Bewkes, the chief executive of Time Warner, to testify at its hearings, the committee accidentally invited Rob Marcus, the former CEO of Time Warner Cable, the pay-TV and broadband-internet company taken over earlier this year by cable company Charter Communications. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink.

Among media stocks, Time Warner has been a relatively safe bet in recent years, thanks to stable earnings, stock buybacks and the sense it is more defensible than peers in a world where smaller bundles of channels are becoming more popular. "LULAC looks forward to representing the interests of its members and the Latino community as the acquisition process proceeds".

"It's easy to say that this is the beginning of an M&A wave, but when you poke at it, the strategy here is pretty thin", Craig Moffett, an analyst at MoffettNathanson, says of the AT&T-Time Warner plan.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. As with Comcast, the concern is that AT&T will favor its own video. By the end of the decade that deal was undone, with Time Warner spinning off AOL as a separate company in 2009.

Stephenson said the DirecTV Now service wouldn't have been possible without the DirecTV deal. If he's right, the argument over who's king-those who make shows or those who distribute them-may no longer matter.

AT&T's deal for Time Warner, rumored last week and announced over the weekend, isn't an attempt to squeeze out competitors and dominate pricing because these two companies are not in the same industry: One operates a telecommunications pipeline and the other fills pipelines with content.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.

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