Monday, November 14, 2016

AT&T Strikes Huge Deal to Acquire Time Warner Might Be Subject to Intense Regulatory Scrutiny

Let’s face it people- we cannot live without our content and the technology that brings it to us all day every day. So, you might be happy to learn that there are big changes taking place in the entertainment industry. The latest in a string of big deals is one where AT&T has agreed to by Time Warner for $84.5 billion. But, the acquisition will not go through without being put under a microscope by regulators.

Things in the entertainment and media industry are changing fast with giants like Verizon and Comcast buying up smaller companies on what seems like a regular basis. These corporations are looking to build conglomerates that not only create content but also distribute it via satellite TV, subscription services and wireless devices. In light of these aspirations one has to ask- are these companies creating a monopoly in the industry?

The recent AT&T deal begs the question, as it is one more piece of evidence that points the industry is being taken over by these power players. But, do these actions violate longstanding antitrust laws? Some believe they do. Even celebrity businessperson and Republican Presidential Candidate, Donald J. Trump, has commented. He went as far as saying that he would try to “block” the deal between AT&T and Time Warner because it further consolidates the power in the hands of too few companies. Others in the industry have also weighed in. One the giant, Disney, has put out a statement alleging that regulators should closely examine this type of deal. Ultimately, the public’s view of the deal comes down to how it affects customers and that remains to be seen.

If you are a representative of a corporation looking to become involved in a merger or acquisition, you should know that regulatory compliance is one of the main issues that you should be concerned with. Do not make the mistake of underestimating its importance. Be sure to make it a priority to contact a business law attorney with vast experience in this area.

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