Warner Bros. directors Miron, Newhouse resign after antitrust probe

Warner Bros. directors Miron, Newhouse resign after antitrust probe

The exterior of the Warner Bros. Discovery Atlanta campus is pictured after the Writers Guild of America began its strike against the Alliance of Motion Pictures and Television Producers on May 2, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Alyssa Pointer | Reuters

Two Warner Bros. Discovery Directors Steven Miron and Steven Newhouse are resigning following a U.S. Department of Justice investigation into possible antitrust violations, according to a company statement Monday.

The company said Miron and Newhouse, both of whom were named directors in April 2022 as part of the WarnerMedia-Discovery merger, would be investigated to determine whether their participation on the board violated Section 8 of the Clayton Antitrust Act, which is largely the case be it prohibits the same directors or companies from serving on the boards of competitors at the same time.

According to the press release, Miron is CEO of the private media company Advance/Newhouse Partnership and an executive at Advance, which invests in media and technology companies. Newhouse is co-president of Advance.

Both terms on the Warner Bros. board were set to expire in 2025.

Rather than contest the DOJ matter, the company said that both Miron and Newhouse had voluntarily decided to resign from their positions effective immediately. None of the directors admitted any breach.

“We are proud to have played a role in building this great company and to remain a major shareholder. We are disappointed to be leaving the board but want to do the right thing for WBD,” Newhouse said in a statement.

In a statement Monday evening, the DOJ said the company in conflict is Charter, a Connecticut-based media company that, similar to Warner Bros.’ streaming platform Max, provides video distribution services. According to the DOJ, Advance representatives held seats on both Warner Bros. boards. Board of Directors and Charter Board.

“Today’s announcement is a win for consumers,” Deputy Assistant Attorney General Michael Kades of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division said in a statement. “In enacting Section 8 of the Clayton Act, Congress feared that competitors sharing directors would compete less intensely to provide better service and lower prices. We will continue to vigorously enforce antitrust laws when necessary to counter overreach by companies and their designated agents.”

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2024-04-01 22:04:16