Time Warner Shares Rise Again As Investors Weigh AT&T’s Chances In Court

Time Warner Shares Rise Again As Investors Weigh AT&T’s Chances In Court

Shares in Time Warner (TWX) rose for the eighth straight trading day Thursday as investors apparently like AT&T‘s (T) chances of prevailing in an antitrust court fight against the government over a merger of the two.


A federal judge overseeing the case on Wednesday made comments that some observers interpreted as a plus for AT&T. U.S. District Judge Richard Leon asked a government witness from Charter Communications (CHTR) whether AT&T’s arbitration offer made to cable and satellite TV companies could be restructured to resolve concerns about the merger.

The Department of Justice, which is seeking to block the acquisition, has stated that an arbitration process would be inadequate to address a combined AT&T-Time Warner’s negotiating clout over programming distribution. The government, though, approved of Comcast‘s (CMCSA) acquisition of NBC Universal in 2011 with arbitration included among the deal’s conditions. Judge Leon also oversaw the Comcast-NBCUniversal merger approval process.

Shares in Time Warner rose 0.4% to 96.33 on the stock market today. The media and entertainment company has climbed slowly, only 4%, since hitting a trough March 23. But its rise has been steady during the eight days of trial proceedings.

AT&T agreed to buy Time Warner for $85.4 billion, in October 2016. Time Warner shareholders would receive $107.50 per share if the deal goes through. Gains in Time Warner toward the $107.50 per-share price signal more investor confidence in the telecom firm winning or settling the case.

AT&T, meanwhile, on Thursday said it plans to raise up to $653 million in an initial public offering of its DirecTV satellite business in Latin America. The telecom conglomerate acquired DirecTV Group for $48.5 billion in 2015.

Shares in AT&T rose 0.5% to 36 on Thursday.


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