clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The AT&T-TimeWarner deal has been blessed by the courts — again

AT&T now has full control of the giant entertainment company and is going to start moving pieces around.

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson.
AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson.
Mark Wilson/Getty Images
Peter Kafka covers media and technology, and their intersection, at Vox. Many of his stories can be found in his Kafka on Media newsletter, and he also hosts the Recode Media podcast.

For the second time in less than a year, a US court has ruled that AT&T can buy Time Warner.

If you’re confused about that sentence, here’s a very brief explanation: Last year, a federal judge blessed AT&T’s $85 billion-ish takeover of Time Warner — a deal that the US Department of Justice had tried to stop. The DOJ appealed, and now a US District Court in Washington, DC, has denied the appeal.

If the ruling had gone the other way, this could have been a big problem for AT&T and the giant media company it acquired, but AT&T executives have been acting for a long time as though this was a done deal. They’ve spent months telling Wall Street — and their own employees — about some of the company’s plans to overhaul Time Warner assets like HBO.

The one caveat to that: AT&T, per an agreement it made after last summer’s court decision, has been hands off Turner Broadcasting, the unit that includes TV networks like CNN and TNT.

So employees there have been waiting to see what plans AT&T has for them — like who’s going to manage the whole thing. John Martin, who had previously run Turner, left last summer, and now there are multiple people with important titles — like Jeff Zucker, who runs CNN, and David Levy, who runs TNT and the company’s other entertainment channels — waiting to see who’s going to report to whom.

If you watch any of those channels, it’s unlikely any of this will matter to you in the near term. If you work at one of them, it’s a different story.

This article originally appeared on

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for Vox Recommends

Get curated picks of the best Vox journalism to read, watch, and listen to every week, from our editors.