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Jim Stewart: AT&T-Time Warner Deal Has A 98% Chance Of Regulatory Approval

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Jim Stewart: AT&T-Time Warner Deal Has A 98% Chance Of Regulatory Approval

The New York Times' Jim Stewart was a guest on CNBC's "Squawk Box" segment on Monday to offer his take on AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T)'s proposed acquisition of Time Warner Inc (NYSE: TWX).

Stewart places a 98 percent likelihood that acquisition should be approved by the regulatory bodies. He noted that the deal is a "classic vertical integration" move, and the two companies don't compete directly against each other in any way.

Stewart continued that vertical integration deals have been historically approved, including Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ: CMCSA) and NBC. However, the bigger issue for investor to consider is the fact that vertical integrations often don't work out for the acquirer.

Related Link: The Dinner Party That Led To The Merger Of AT&T And Time Warner

Stewart went on to point out that the failed merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable in 2014 was more of a horizontal integration since both companies operate directly in the cable business.

"It's tough for a management like AT&T to suddenly step into a business it's never been in, doesn't know anything about and manage it," he said. "So I think there are a lot of practical issues for AT&T shareholders."

Moreover, AT&T's business has been purely in telecommunications and its acquisition with DirecTV has yet to be finalized. As such, AT&T's management will now have to deal with new sets of challenges, including dealing with Hollywood stars and negotiating contracts for films and TV content.

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