US courts have granted AT&T permission to buy Time Warner in a deal that is thought to be worth $85bn.
This goes against the wishes of President Trump’s administration, and could well trigger a marked shakeup of the country’s media industry by setting off a flurry of mergers.
Reuters believes the deal could be completed as early as next week having been initially announced all the way back in October 2016.
Fast-forward to today and the US court’s decision came about because District Judge Richard Leon could not find sufficient evidence to support the government’s view that the move could harm consumers.
In December, The Walt Disney Company announced it’s plans to acquire Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox for $52.4bn. The deal involved Fox’s film and television studios, alongside its cable and international television businesses, including the company’s 39% stake in Sky.
The AT&T deal, with debt taken into consideration, would be the fourth largest telecom, media and entertainment acquisition ever attempted, and the 12th largest across all industries of all time.
Companies like Netflix and Amazon have disrupted the traditional cable broadcasting industry, where customers paid premiums to access content from a variety of producers. Now media is being made and sold by the same companies.
This latest approval by the US courts could trigger acceptance of Comcast’s proposal to buy assets from Twenty-First Century Fox, namely Sky.