Apr 15, 2019

AT&T sells its stake in Hulu

Photo: Chesnot/Getty Images

AT&T has sold its minority stake in Hulu back to the streaming video joint venture, which includes Disney and Comcast Corporation. The transaction valued Hulu at $15 billion, with AT&T’s 9.5% interest valued at $1.43 billion.

Why it matters: The sale gives Disney a 66% stake in the streaming company and 33% to Comcast/NBCUniversal. The transaction helps AT&T pay down its debt and helps Disney bolster its streaming offerings.

Background: Hulu was originally owned by 4 companies: AT&T (10%); Fox (30%); Disney (30%); Comcast/NBCUniversal (30%). Disney received Fox's 30% stake in the company when it purchased the majority of 21st Century Fox's entertainment assets last year.

Details: AT&T says it will use the proceeds from the transaction, along with additional planned sales of non-core assets, to reduce its debt. The company took on a massive debt load when it acquired Time Warner for roughly $85 billion last year.

The big picture: The sale comes amid a fierce battle between some of the biggest entertainment and tech companies in the streaming space. Disney unveiled its strategy for its Disney+ subscription streaming service last week, and said it may bundle Hulu as a part of that offering.

Go deeper

Coronavirus stress tests drug industry's dependence on China

A Hong Kong commuter wears a face mask. Photo: Miguel Candela/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

It's unclear whether the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus will actually result in prescription drug shortages, but it has undoubtedly highlighted the potential vulnerabilities of having the supply chain for American drugs so dependent on China.

Driving the news: About 150 prescription drugs — including antibiotics, generics and some branded drugs without alternatives — are at risk of shortage if the coronavirus outbreak in China worsens, per two sources familiar with a list of at-risk drugs compiled by the Food and Drug Administration.

Go deeperArrow32 mins ago - Health

Bernie's path to the presidency

Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks yesterday during a rally at Houston University. Photo: Mark Felix/AFP via Getty Images

Lots of Democrats are in full panic that Bernie Sanders will win the nomination and get clobbered in the general election — and bring the party down, too. But the evidence, particularly the polling, doesn't back those doomsday warnings.

Why it matters: Virtually every national and swing state poll shows Sanders tied with or beating President Trump.  And, unlike every rival, he has a huge base of fervent, unshakable supporters he can only grow.

These swing voters don't like Trump’s environmental rollbacks

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Swing voters in four battleground states decisively oppose President Trump’s sweeping rollbacks of environmental regulations — but it’s unlikely to sway their votes.

Why it matters: It’s voters living in states like these, including Florida and Pennsylvania, who fill pivotal roles electing America’s presidents, so we should listen.