Friday, June 21, 2024

Discovery-WarnerMedia Merger Gets European Union Approval

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The European Commission, the executive body of the European Union, has approved Discovery’s acquisition of AT&T’s WarnerMedia business.

On Wednesday, Discovery disclosed the antitrust clearance of the proposed deal to create Warner Bros. Discovery. “Approval from the European Commission is a key milestone toward completing our proposed transaction with AT&T,” David Zaslav, president and CEO of Discovery, said in a statement.

In May, Discovery unveiled its proposed megamerger with WarnerMedia, with Zaslav to serve as CEO of the new company. AT&T and Discovery combining their media and entertainment assets into a media joint venture aims to bring together TV channels like CNN, TBS, TNT, HGTV, Food Network and Discovery Channel, the Warner Bros. film studio, and streaming services HBO Max and Discovery+.

The merger of Discovery and WarnerMedia has implications for the European market as the combined entity will compete in a fast-growing streaming TV arena on that continent. In addition,  Eurosport, a pan-European TV sports platform, is being phased out with the launch of the Discovery+ streaming service.

“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,” Zaslav added.

Discovery sees the closing of the WarnerMedia transaction to occur in mid-2022, subject to approval by Discovery stockholders and additional closing conditions. No approval is required by AT&T shareholders.

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