Discovery shareholders vote for $43bn WarnerMedia acquisition

David Zaslav

Discovery shareholders have given the greenlight to its $43bn acquisition of WarnerMedia from AT&T, with the deal on track to close in the middle of next month.

The US Department of Justice and directors of both firms have already given their nod to the takeover, while the European Commission and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have also already OK’d the acquisition.

Discovery CEO David Zaslav is set to move to LA to run the giant entity while WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar is likely to exit. One of the few other appointments confirmed is that of Chris Licht, who was named to run CNN after Jeff Zucker departed.

Little other detail has yet been revealed on the exec set-up while the merger progressed through regulatory proceedings.

WarnerMedia and Discovery first revealed the shock-merger in May last year, subsequently confirming that the enlarged outfit would be known as Warner Bros. Discovery.

Discovery will run the operation but shareholders at AT&T, WarnerMedia’s parent, will retain a 71% stake in the combined entity.

It will own one of the deepest libraries in the world with nearly 200,000 hours of programming and will also house both recently launched streamers HBO Max and Discovery+.

Zaslav recently said he did not believe that Warner Bros. Discovery needs to outspend rivals such as Netflix and Disney on content in order to remain competitive.

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