Time Warner-AT&T deal likely won’t be reviewed by FCC

Time Warner stock hit a 52-week high Monday after the Federal Communications Commission’s new chairman said he doubted his agency would review AT&T’s proposed acquisition.FCC Chairman Ajit Pai called the review unnecessary if, as he believed, no airwave...

Time Warner-AT&T deal likely won’t be reviewed by FCC

Time Warner stock hit a 52-week high Monday after the Federal Communications Commission’s new chairman said he doubted his agency would review AT&T’s proposed acquisition.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai called the review unnecessary if, as he believed, no airwave licenses would transfer because of AT&T’s $85.4 billion deal to take over Time Warner.

“That is the regulatory hook for FCC review,” Pai told The Wall Street Journal. “My understanding is that the deal won’t be presented to the commission.”

The news sent Time Warner stock up 1 percent Monday, to $98.20.

On Oct. 21, the day before AT&T agreed to acquire Time Warner in a cash-and-stock deal valued at $107.50 per share, the stock closed at $89.48.

While it has gained 9.7 percent since then, the increase is less than half the 20 percent premium AT&T put before Time Warner shareholders.

The discount reflects regulatory risk — especially since President Trump, as a candidate, vowed he’d veto the merger.

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