AT&T gets approval to buy Time Warner for $85 billion

ATT-Time Warner

On Tuesday, AT&T got final approval to purchase Time Warner. The acquisition, which was first announced in 2016, had been blocked by the U.S. Justice Department. When the merger is completed, HBO, CNN, and film studio Warner Bros. will be owned by the No. 2 carrier in the U.S.

According to CNBC, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon approved the $85.4 acquisition without conditions. He also urged the U.S. government not to seek a stay.

In 2017, the Trump administration sued to block the merger, believing that AT&T, which owns DirecTV, could charge rival distributors more for Time Warner content, resulting in higher prices for consumers. AT&T said that logic didn't hold up, a position Judge Leon accepted.

The AT&T-Time Warner merger should close later this month. As AT&T General Counsel David McAtee explained soon after hearing the result:

We are pleased that, after conducting a full and fair trial on the merits, the Court has categorically rejected the government's lawsuit to block our merger with Time Warner. We look forward to closing the merger on or before June 20 so we can begin to give consumers video entertainment that is more affordable, mobile, and innovative.

In a statement, Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim said the Justice Department was disappointed by the decision, noting:

We continue to believe that the pay-TV market will be less competitive and less innovative as a result of the proposed merger between AT&T and Time Warner. We will closely review the Court’s opinion and consider next steps in light of our commitment to preserving competition for the benefit of American consumers.

CNBC believes this megamerger will spur a wave of deals in the telecom and media industries. Comcast-NBC Universal, for example, is now expected to fight Disney with a competing bid for parts of Twenty-First Century Fox.

Before AT&T's bid, there were rumors that Apple would make a play for Time Warner. However, those rumors turned out not to be true. Instead, Apple is working with content providers to bring original video content to properties like Apple TV and Apple Music as early as next year.

Besides HBO, CNN, and Warner Bros., Time Warner owns TBS, TCM, and TNT.

Image: Variety

Watch Apple’s Cue explaining Apple TV benefits

Eddy Cue, Apple's Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services, gave CNN a tour of the new Apple TV, which hits Apple's retail stores tomorrow.

Reiterating that to Apple, television is about apps, Cue called the fourth-generation box “absolutely” more than a hobby project for Apple.

“We have over 20 million Apple TV's in households today,” he said. “We think this is really going to revolutionize television. So this is a big deal for us.”

New CNNgo channel launches on Apple TV, cable subscription required

CNN announced on Wednesday that its new CNNgo channel is now available on Apple TV. This marks the first Turner brand to launch on Apple's set-top box, and it features the largest collection of CNN’s on-demand content to date.

In addition to on-demand programming, the channel also offers access to Live TV and shows, such as the popular Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown and Anderson Cooper 360. Of course for these things you'll need cable credentials.

CNN names Tim Cook ‘CEO of the Year’

Time Warner's Cable News Network (or CNN) has named Tim Cook its "CEO of the Year" for 2014. Cook finished ahead of several other high profile chief executives including Meg Whitman of HP, T-Mobile's John Legere and Yahoo's Marissa Mayer.

CNN justifies its picking of Tim Cook for the prestigious honor by pointing to his company's stock performance this year. "Apple is the apple of Wall Street's eye again" the outlet says, noting that shares of AAPL are up 40% in 2014 an near all-time highs.

CNN app updated with support for iPhone 6 and improved landscape mode

CNN updated its iPhone app this morning, bringing it to version 2.4. You may recall Apple SVP Phil Schiller showing off this app on stage at last week's iPhone event, highlighting the way that it takes advantage of the larger displays of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

It looks like today's update brings that support for the two new smartphones, as well as a handful of other enhancements. CNN says that the app has a much improved landscape mode—which looks great on my iPhone 5s—prettier photo galleries and more.

Flipboard buys news reader app Zite for $60 million

Flipboard has announced this morning that it has acquired popular news reader app Zite from CNN. The company didn't disclose pricing details, but word has it that it went for $60 million and part of the deal is that Flipboard will begin syndicating CNN content inside its apps.

For those unfamiliar with the app, it's billed as an 'intelligent magazine' that helps you discover interesting things to read. Almost like a Pandora for RSS feeds, Zite analyzes millions of articles each day to offer you content on over 40K topics based on your habits and preferences...

CNN gives its iPhone and iPad app iOS 7 makeover

One of the first premium news apps for the iPhone worth checking out came from CNN, "the biggest name in news". The 24/7 news organization released the CNN for iPhone app on the App Store in September 2009.

I immediately fell in love with its sleekness, responsiveness and overall branding. In fact, it was Godsent because CNN's mobile website was very pedestrian at the time (and still is!)

But that was before Flipboard and a host of other fine apps came along vastly improving on the rather clunky news-reading iOS experience.

The iPad edition followed in October 2010. Soon after, both versions went permanently free as CNN had realized that folks were reluctant to shell 99 cents for the privilege of following the Time Warner-owned network's software on their iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices.

And how does CNN's latest iPhone and iPad update feel like on iOS 7? How about giving the screenies below a quick look?