Discovery is now one step closer to merging with WarnerMedia

discover warnermedia merger
Photo by Amanda Edwards/Getty Images for Discovery, Inc.

A multibillion-dollar deal to spin off WarnerMedia from AT&T and merge it with Discovery is one step closer to being a reality.

The deal, which has been approved in Europe, just cleared a regulatory hurdle after a review by the Department of Justice, according to Variety.

The deal’s closing will create another behemoth media company combining Warner Bros. television and film studios, HBO, TNT, TBS, and Discovery’s large library of programming, which includes Animal Planet, Food Network, HGTV, and Oprah’s OWN.

“The HSR Act statutory waiting period has expired or otherwise been terminated, and any agreement not to consummate the transaction between the parties and the Federal Trade Commission or the Antitrust Division of the United States Department of Justice or any other applicable governmental entity, has also expired or otherwise been terminated,” both companies said in their respective filings.

Now that the regulatory issue is approved, the two companies can get into the deeper issues of business reviews and also work together without scrutiny.

AT&T purchased Time Warner in 2016 in a deal that faced heavy scrutiny as well. It took about 20 months for the deal to close, according to The New York Times, and was announced nine months ago.

In the near future, Discovery will have to start raising over $30 billion in debt as per terms of the deal and Discovery CEO David Zaslav will take over as head of the new company.

The new deal means that Discovery will now have oversight of professional sports broadcasts on TBS to the multitude of HBO’s programming, like Euphoria and Succession. The company will also be in control of three separate streaming services – HBO Max, CNN Plus and Discovery Plus.