AT&T and Time Warner add new delay to merger plans

Alan Burkitt-Gray
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Companies hope for 21 June for potential completion of $85bn merger after legal delays

AT&T and Time Warner have delayed yet again the target date for completing their $85 billion merger.

Originally due to be complete in October 2017, the merger is unlikely to take place until 21 June this year, the companies have confirmed – and that’s if they get approval from regulators and courts. The planned merger was announced in October 2016.

In November they delayed the target completion date from October – a deadline already missed – to 22 April. Now they have added a further two months to the process.

If the merger is not completed by 21 June, either party could pull out, the companies told the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

Meanwhile a US judge has told AT&T and Time Warner that they may be able to see information provided to the Department of Justice (DOJ) by Walt Disney and Twenty-First Century Fox. The DOJ is attempting to stop AT&T from buying Time Warner.

Disney and Fox told Judge Richard Leon that they were worried that AT&T, which owns satellite TV service DirecTV, would be able to see the information when the case comes to trial. But Leon turned down their request. The trial is due to start on 19 March and the hearing is expected to last 15 days.