Randall Stephenson’s legacy at AT&T is depending on a hit Time Warner trial


AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson could well additionally very effectively be feeling a little like Casey at the Bat as he awaits a verdict on whether or no longer his company can opt Time Warner. He’s down two strikes, and if he fails this time, his legacy could well additionally very effectively be sealed.

No topic the deal’s deserves, if Eliminate Richard Leon decides AT&T can’t opt Time Warner, Stephenson’s are trying and transform the nation’s 2d-largest wi-fi supplier could well possess proven unsuccessful one more time.

If Time Warner fails, Stephenson would shuffle down in history as the most attention-grabbing CEO in widespread history who twice had affords of bigger than $35 billion blocked by authorities resistance. The one deal he did get via — a $Sixty seven billion engage of DirecTV — has no longer been a monetary success since its 2015 announcement. Mixed, the failures would leave Stephenson with a checkered legacy at handiest.

“It’s an sensible query to inquire of, ‘will this be a failed legacy?’ if the deal doesn’t battle via,” acknowledged Craig Moffett, an analyst at MoffettNathanson. “No lower than, it could per chance be a moderately risky legacy.”

AT&T shares have not moved remarkable from 5 years ago, after they had been buying and selling around $35. The stock is down about Thirteen percent within the closing fifty two weeks.

The AT&T-Time Warner trial is getting into its fifth week, and Stephenson is determined to testify this week, in keeping with an particular person familiar with the topic. The Department of Justice’s most main argument is AT&T could threaten to determine on Time Warner’s programming from diversified distributors to power increased costs.

AT&T’s DirecTV is a pay-TV supplier that reaches bigger than 20 million customers. If Leon believes AT&T will threaten to determine on Time Warner programming from diversified video distributors, vivid customers could swap to DirecTV as a alternative, he could well additionally honest intention to a resolution a deal wouldn’t be within the ideal passion of patrons.

AT&T counters that the logic doesn’t extend, as the purpose of proudly owning snort material is to get celebrated distribution, which brings in affiliate fees and selling income. Time Warner also has contracts with reward TV operators, locking the corporate into distribution affords for future years.