A $600 Million Investment Is about to Yield $1.4 Billion for AT&T


Apr. 18 2019, Updated 11:40 a.m. ET

AT&T sold its stake in Hulu

AT&T (T) announced recently that it had sold its minority stake in Hulu. Through its acquisition of WarnerMedia, AT&T came to own a 10% stake in the video streaming provider. AT&T sold this stake back to Hulu.

AT&T sold its Hulu stake for more than $1.4 billion, reflecting a significant gain for the company considering that Warner had invested less than $600 million in the purchase about three years ago. In August 2016, Warner—then an independent public company—paid $583 million to purchase a 10% stake in Hulu, joining the Walt Disney Company (DIS) and Comcast (CMCSA) in owning a piece of the fast-growing video streaming service.

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Disney now controls Hulu

AT&T’s decision to sell its Hulu stake came shortly after Disney tightened its grip on the business. Disney now owns 60% of Hulu after purchasing Fox Corporation’s (FOXA) 30% stake in the company. 

AT&T’s exit from Hulu also comes at a time when it’s launching its own video services to compete with Hulu for customers and advertisers. Last year, AT&T launched a video streaming service called WatchTV, and it’s planning to launch another service that will include an ad-supported plan.

Hulu boasts 25 million subscribers

Hulu is one of Netflix’s (NFLX) top competitors in the United States. Hulu closed 2018 with 25 million subscribers in the country compared to Netflix’s nearly 60 million subscribers. AT&T’s flagship video streaming service, DIRECTV NOW, boasts 1.6 million subscribers.


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