US telco giant AT&T will run its DirecTV pay-TV arm as a separate division following on from its $85 billion (€74bn) acquisition of Time Warner’s media assets. According to reports. The Time Warner purchase has not yet formally closed, but is expected to wrap by the end of the year.
Part of the package being acquired by AT&T includes premium channel HBO and the news-to-entertainment division of Time Warner, Turner Broadcasting, which includes CNN.
The reports suggest that AT&T will create two new divisions, for ‘Communications’ and ‘Media’. Communications will include DirecTV as well as AT&T’s wired and cellular operations, and Media will be home for the Time Warner assets.
The decision to separate Time Warner from DirecTV is seen as part of a move to soften US regulators concerns that AT&T could use the HBO or other Time Warner media assets in an anti-competitive fashion, and thus ensure fair access to content for all distributors.