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AT&T and Time Warner Reset Merger Deadline to June

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Termination date moved to June 21

AT&T (T) and Time Warner (TWX) agreed to extend the deadline for their proposed merger by roughly two months. This move occurred after it became clear that the court decision on the US government’s antitrust challenge to the proposal would come after their recently revised merger deadline.

AT&T and Time Warner set June 21, 2018, as the new termination date for their merger agreement, according to a regulatory filing. If the companies had not secured the green light to combine by June 21, their merger agreement would expire.

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Deal was originally set to close in October 2017

The companies struck a merger deal in October 2016, when AT&T agreed to acquire Time Warner, the owner of media assets such as CNN, for $85.4 billion. However, it’s been a long journey for the companies in trying to close the deal.

The companies originally set October 22, 2017, as the deadline to close the merger, but they revised the merger deadline date to April 22, 2018. This revision occurred after the US (SPY) Justice Department sued to block AT&T from acquiring Time Warner, terming the deal dangerous to competition.

Judge would need more time to reach decision

The reset of the AT&T–Time Warner merger deadline from April 22 to June 21 was prompted by a comment by US District Judge Richard Leon. Leon is presiding over the Justice Department’s antitrust challenge to the merger proposal.

At the time of setting March 19 as the start date for the trial, Leon said he would require significant time to reach a decision, suggesting that a decision might come after April 22, which AT&T and Time Warner set as the deadline to close their merger.

AT&T stock fell 8.6% in 2017, while Time Warner stock fell 5.2% during the year. Verizon (VZ) stock fell less than 1.0% in 2017, while T-Mobile’s (TMUS) gained 10.4% during the year.

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