2 Warner Bros. Discovery Board Members Step Down After DOJ Disclosed Antitrust Probe

By Trisha Andrada

Apr 02, 2024 07:55 AM EDT

Warner Bros. Discovery announced Monday that two of its directors, Steven Miron and Steven Newhouse, are resigning from the board. The resignation comes after the US Department of Justice launched an investigation into a potential antitrust violation.

The Justice Department informed them that it was investigating if their service on the Board of Directors violated Section 8 of the Clayton Antitrust Act. This law prohibits the same directors or firms from serving simultaneously on competitors' boards. 

Warner Bros. Discovery Upfront 2022 - Show
An interior view of Madison Square Garden during the Warner Bros. Discovery Upfront 2022 show at The Theater at Madison Square Garden on May 18, 2022 in New York City.
(Photo : Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Warner Bros. Discovery)

Two Warner Bros. Discovery Directors Choose Not to Get Involved in the Lawsuit

According to CNBC, the entertainment giant said the two Warner Bros. Discovery directors, who were both appointed as directors in April 2022 as part of the WarnerMedia and Discovery merger, voluntarily decided to step down from their roles, effective immediately, instead of contesting the DOJ matter. 

Neither director acknowledged any violation.

"We are proud to have played a role in the building of this great company and remain a large stockholder. We are disappointed to leave the Board, but wish to do the right thing for WBD," Steven Newhouse said in a press statement.

Steven Miron and Newhouse's positions as board members of Warner Bros. were both set to end in 2025.

Read Also: Kevin Hart's Entertainment Company To Be Led By A Former Warner Bros. Executive

Justice Department Expresses Antitrust Concerns on Competitors Sharing Company Directors

In a press release, Deputy Assistant Attorney General Michael Kades of the Justice Department's Antitrust Division said: "Today's announcement is a win for consumers. In enacting Section 8 of the Clayton Act, Congress was concerned that competitors who shared directors would compete less vigorously to provide better services and lower prices."

According to the statement, Miron is the CEO of media company Advance/Newhouse partnership and a senior executive officer at Advance, which invests in media and technology firms. Newhouse is Advance's co-president.

The Justice Department said Charter, a Connecticut-based media firm, is the conflicting company. Similar to Warner Bros.′ streaming platform Max, Charter provides video distribution services. The department noted that Advance representatives hold seats on both Charter's and Warner Bros.' boards of directors.

"We will continue to vigorously enforce the antitrust laws when necessary to address overreach by corporations and their designated agents," Kades noted.

Read More: Warner Bros. Discovery, Paramount Are in Early Talks to Merge: Report

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