Liberty's John Malone Now Has a Say in Time Warner

FTC Lifts Restrictions That Blocked His Right to Vote

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WASHINGTON ( -- The Federal Trade Commission today agreed to remove restrictions on Liberty Media that prevented it from exercising its voting stock in Time Warner. That means effective immediately, John Malone, Liberty Media's chairman, is one of the largest holders of Time Warner's voting shares.
John Malone
John Malone

Liberty Media obtained the stock in a complicated 1996 deal that combined Time Warner and Turner Broadcasting when Liberty was part of cable giant TCI. At the time, the FTC said possible conflicts could increase consumer prices, and it required Liberty to agree not to vote its shares.

Cable ownership changed
Liberty no longer owns any cable providers and in February, as proposals circulated for a restructuring of Time Warner, Liberty asked the FTC to remove the restrictions and let it vote its shares, which it said at the end of 2005 represented 3.73% of outstanding Time Warner shares. Liberty's holding makes it Time Warner's second-largest shareholder, after financial firm AXA.

A Liberty spokesman today said the company had no comment on its plans but asked for the right to vote the shares because the reasoning to prevent them from being voted no longer applied.

Liberty is now mostly a holding company with ownership interests in QVC, Encore, Starz, IAC/InterActiveCorp, Expedia and News Corp. Liberty and related companies own most of QVC and Starz.
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