AT&T's Randall Stephenson Not Worried About DOJ Appeal of Time Warner Deal
"The teams are spending zero effort thinking about this appeal," the exec said at an investor conference.
AT&T chairman-CEO Randall Stephenson is not worried about the Department of Justice's decision to appeal a judge's ruling allowing the company to purchase Time Warner, the exec said Wednesday morning at an industry conference. Instead, he said the company is focusing on integrating the assets it has acquired, including HBO and CNN.
"The teams are spending zero effort thinking about this appeal," Stephenson said at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia conference. "I'm not even letting them think about the appeal. ... I'm hardly spending any time on this."
But the CEO said his company will emerge victorious when the process finally concludes. "We feel very good about where we stand on appeal," he said.
U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon sided with AT&T in a decision on June 12. The government filed for appeal a month later.
Stephenson said the government must "overcome the judge's order," not AT&T: "They have to demonstrate that the judge got it wrong."
The exec said that a ton of money has been spent and will continue to be spent on legal fees, including "a lot of U.S. taxpayer resources" that are being spent by the Department of Justice.
Stephenson said he expects the case to fully "wind up" in January or February.
He also announced plans for a new direct-to-consumer service that will combine the company's media assets.
Comparing his new purchase, HBO, to Netflix, Stephenson said that the streaming giant is "the Walmart of SVOD," while the pay cabler is "kind of like the Tiffany."
Addressing content spend on HBO, he said, "We're not talking about Netflix-like investments."