Brazil approves Time Warner’s acquisition by AT&T

Brazilian National Telecommunications Agency (Anatel) approved Time Warner’s (WarnerMedia) acquisition by AT&T. The decision was made in a tight vote, with three in favour and two against the operation.

The Audiovisual Content Law (SeAC Law) does not allow a same company to produce content and distribute it in Brazil. There, AT&T owns Sky and Time Warner. However, Anatel executives who voted in favor argued that the ban could not be applied to Time Warner, because it was not based in Brazil. Anatel President Leonardo Euler de Morais, who voted in favour of the ban, warned that the decision could be unconstitutional.

The acquisition took place in the US in October 2016, and is valued at USD 84.5 billion. Before  Anatel’s approval, the operation had been approved with restrictions by the Economic Defense Administrative Council (CADE) in Brazil. The approval  made by the Brazilian regulator was the last step for the acquisition to become fully effective.