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Monday, February 26, 2024
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European Commission Clears Discovery, WarnerMedia Merger

Discovery-WarnerMedia
Amanda Edwards-Getty Images for Discovery, Inc./Design: John Regula

The European Commission has granted unconditional antitrust clearance to Discovery’s $43 billion acquisition of AT&T’s WarnerMedia.

Expected to close in mid-2022, the merger still needs to be approved by Discovery stockholders and pass other regulatory approvals including those in the States. Over 30 Democratic members of Congress have voiced concerns about reduced competition.

Earlier this month, rumors also surfaced that Discovery may be interested in acquiring BT Sport, which would add Premier League rights to its roster. Discovery and WarnerMedia already have deep portfolios of sports rights.

  • Discovery owns the Eurosport channels, HGTV, Food Network, and others. WarnerMedia has Turner Sports, TNT, TBS, CNN, Warner Bros., and HBO.
  • Discovery also owns Olympic broadcasting rights across Europe from 2018 to 2024 as part of a $1.5 billion deal.

Discovery reported a 23% year-over-year revenue increase to $3.15 billion for its third quarter, adding 3 million subscribers, largely thanks to its Olympic coverage.

Combined Financials

Last year, the two companies had a combined total of $41 billion in sales. Next year, the combined entity is expected to report $52 billion in revenue with a roughly $130 billion market value

If the merger is approved, AT&T’s shareholders would receive stock representing 71% of the combined company with Discovery shareholders taking the rest.

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