The numbers on the proposed AT&T Time Warner merger are in, and at $85.4 billion, it's going to be a real doozy...if it ever happens.
One potentially major snafu in this deal would perhaps occur in the first 100 days of the Trump Administration. According to the venal New York City-based contractor himself, any attempt by a massive telecom/media firm to merge with another massive media/entertainment firm would create a behemoth potentially unfair to the American consumer, and of a size that could arguably fly in the face of the spirit of accepted antitrust laws...JK! He just really fucking hates CNN:
“AT&T is buying Time Warner, and thus CNN, a deal we will not approve in my administration because it’s too much concentration of power in the hands of too few,” he said at a rally in Gettysburg, Pa., on Saturday. Mr. Trump said the deal is “an example of the power structure I am fighting.”
Now, it would be ludicrous of us to assume that Trump would do anything he says he would do once elected, but if he's going to follow through on anything we would put our money on him continuing to battle the private wars of his petty jealousies from the Oval Office. That would be truly sucky for everyone involved with this absurdly large deal.
Looking again at that deal number, you might find yourself wondering "Umm, 85 billion with a "B"?" Yeah, AT&T is apparently willing to spend all the money it can get its hands on to avoid finding a new business model on its own. And by "get its hands on," we mean AT&T is gonna borrow about half of it. Right, Bloomberg?
Wall Street banks are writing some of their biggest checks ever to fund AT&T Inc.’s takeover of Time Warner Inc. as they seek a bonanza of fees. But there’s a dose of concern that the $40 billion loan pledge may get caught up in a regulatory impasse.
$40 billion loan? AT&T must be making some new friends...
JPMorgan Chase & Co. has pledged $25 billion of the financing, with Bank of America Corp. providing the rest, according to a person with knowledge of the matter who asked not to be identified without authorization to speak publicly. That’s believed to be the most JPMorgan has ever promised for a deal, the person said.
So Jamie Dimon is underwriting a mega-merger that one presidential candidate will try to stop with every ounce of strength in his tiny hands. What about the other one?
Well, Hillary Clinton has not yet commented publicly on the merger, but her running mate Tim Kaine went on Meet the Press yesterday and addressed public concern that the deal might create a monopoly by saying: "I share those concerns and questions. We've got to get to the bottom of them."
So, yeah, she might be for it.
Which leads us to an interesting little thought. Jamie has been hard on Hillary lately, but has also said some pretty incredible stuff about Trump. We know he's a Democrat, but he's also a banker that's been pretty publicly annoyed in general lately. But throwing $20 billion (and maybe syndicating all the rest of the debt int this deal) is a pretty great reason to turn the M&A guys at JPM into the midtown Manhattan outpost of the Hillary Clinton campaign.
That's where we are: We can make a logical joke about the CEO of JPMorgan backing a Democratic presidential candidate in an election year because he's underwriting an uber-capitalist media merger in an election year.
Two weeks left, everybody. Two. Weeks. Left.