Time Warner shares fall on con­cern Trump will block AT&T deal

Kuwait Times - - TECHNOLOGY -

Shares of me­dia group Time Warner Inc fell more than 2 per­cent yes­ter­day on con­cerns that US Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump will make good on his vow to block a pro­posed $85 bil­lion ac­qui­si­tion by AT&T Inc. Trump said in Oc­to­ber that the telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion com­pany’s pro­posal to buy the owner of HBO, CNN and the Warner Bros film stu­dio was an ex­am­ple of a “power struc­ture” that was rigged against him and voters.

AT&T Chief Fi­nan­cial Of­fi­cer John Stephens on Wed­nes­day said his com­pany was look­ing for­ward to work­ing with Trump and “op­ti­mistic” reg­u­la­tors would ap­prove the deal. Stephens spoke at the Wells Fargo tech­nol­ogy, me­dia and tele­coms con­fer­ence in New York. Time Warner’s shares fell 2.1 per­cent to $86.03, while AT&T shares were down 0.4 per­cent at $36.88. The Dow and S&P 500 were both higher in early trad­ing.

The elec­tion re­sults mean “in­creased risks” for the AT&T-Time Warner deal, An­gelo Zino, an­a­lyst at CFRA Re­search, said. “At the very least, there are go­ing to be in­di­vid­u­als put in place (by a Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion) that are go­ing to make the deal a lot more chal­leng­ing to com­plete,” he added. AT&T of­fered $107.50 per share for Time Warner last month, aim­ing to ac­quire con­tent to at­tract on­line cus­tomers. It has said the US Depart­ment of Jus­tice will re­view the deal, which likely faces in­tense scru­tiny since law­mak­ers are al­ready con­cerned about ca­ble com­pany Com­cast Corp’s $30 bil­lion ac­qui­si­tion of NBCUniver­sal. It is “too early to say” that Trump will block the deal, Josh Duitz, port­fo­lio man­ager at Alpine Funds that owns AT&T shares, said. “Can­di­dates say a lot to help them win elec­tion, and when re­al­ity sets in, you have to see what they do,” Duitz said.— Reuters

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