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U.S. Senate Sets AT&T, Time Warner Antitrust Hearing for Dec. 7

27 Oct, 2016 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes reportedly left off initial presser announcing subcommittee meeting after confusion with Time Warner Cable

The U.S. Senate Oct. 27 announced it would begin oversight into AT&T’s proposed $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner with a Dec. 7 hearing by the Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights.

Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Mike Lee (R-UT), Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT), among others, will head the meeting.

A press release said the hearing would “examine the impact of the proposed transaction on consumers, including the implications for competition and innovation in the creation and distribution of video content.”

In an apparent mix-up, an original media blast erroneously said Rob Marcus, former CEO of Time Warner Cable; not Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes, along with AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson, had been summoned to testify before the subcommittee, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Time Warner Cable has been a separate company from Time Warner since 2008, and is now owned by Charter Communications. Marcus is no longer with the cable operator.

Confusion between Time Warner and Time Warner Cable prompted AT&T to issue a SEC filing clarifying the matter:

“Time Warner Inc. should not be confused with Time Warner Cable, which is a distinct, independent company owned by Charter Communications. In 2008, Time Warner and Time Warner Cable announced a complete legal and structural separation of the companies. That separation was completed in 2009, and the companies have been completely separate and independent entities ever since.”



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