As people across the U.S. assess what Donald Trump's upset victory over Hillary Clinton in the presidential election means for them, Hollywood and Washington, D.C., woke up Wednesday thinking about the impact the new man in the White House will have on the biggest media deal in years: AT&T's planned $85.4 billion acquisition of Time Warner.
AT&T CFO John Stephens at a Wells Fargo investor conference on Wednesday was asked about just that, saying: "From a company perspective, we really look forward to working with president-elect Trump and his transition team.”
He said Trump's campaign talk about infrastructure investment, innovation and economic development “all fit right in with AT&T’s goals."….
Analysts, meanwhile, also started discussing what a Trump presidency would mean for the FCC, DOJ, the Time Warner deal and other possible media M&A.
"It's about the FCC and the bully pulpit," said Steve Birenberg of Northlake Capital Management. "Trump is good for cable and telco, because the FCC will shift dramatically. Net neutrality likely goes out the window."
But he also acknowledged: "Trump's bully pulpit is, well, unpredictable. Given his relationship with media, it seems he would be less friendly as his initial comments on Time Warner-AT&T may suggest.”