CNBC EXCLUSIVE: CNBC TRANSCRIPT: AT&T CHAIRMAN AND CEO RANDALL STEPHENSON SPEAKS WITH CNBC’S “SQUAWK BOX” TODAY

WHEN: Today, Friday, June 15th

WHERE: CNBC's "Squawk Box"

Following is the unofficial transcript of a CNBC EXCLUSIVE interview with AT&T Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson on CNBC's "Squawk Box" (M-F, 6AM-9AM ET) today, Friday, June 15th. Following is a link to the video on CNBC.com: https://www.cnbc.com/video/2018/06/15/watch-cnbcs-full-exclusive-interview-with-att-ceo-randall-stephenson.html.

All references must be sourced to CNBC.

JOE KERNEN: YOU KNOW NOW ABOUT THIS. ITS A DONE DEAL AT&T AND TIME WARNER COMPLETING THE MEGA MERGER JUST DAYS AFTER A FEDERAL JUDGE RULED AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT'S ATTEMPT TO BLOCK THE TRANSACTION JOINING US IN AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW, AT&T CHAIRMAN AND CEO RANDALL STEPHENSON THANK YOU FOR COMING ON.

RANDALL STEPHENSON: OF COURSE, JOE.

KERNEN: AND TALKING TO US HERE ON "SQUAWK BOX. JUST THINKING ABOUT -- MAN, YOU WENT THROUGH THE RINGER I MEAN, THIS WAS -- NO, IM THINKING ABOUT THE NEWS CYCLE OF THE PAST COUPLE YEARS. EVERYTHING THATS HAPPENED YOU STARTED THIS WHOLE PROCESS BEFORE THIS WHOLE NEW WORLD WERE LIVING IN. YOUVE BEEN ENGAGED IN THIS THE ENTIRE TIME. TRYING TO GET TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW. YOU HAVE TO TELL ME. WHEN THE MOMENT HAPPENED WHEN LEON SAID NO CONDITIONS, ITS DONE. WHAT WAS YOUR FEELING? IS THERE A WORD TO DESCRIBE IT IS IT ELATION? IS IT RELIEF WHAT WAS IT.

STEPHENSON TO YOUR POINT, ACTUALLY ITS HARD TO BELIEVE THAT ITS ONLY BEEN 600 DAYS SINCE JEFF BEWKES AND I CAME ON YOUR SHOW TO ANNOUNCE THE DEAL. HERE WE ARE A SHORT 600 DAYS LATER AND FINALLY GETTING THE TRANSACTION CLOSED TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTION, WHEN THE COURT RULED, IT WAS RELIEF WE FELT REALLY GOOD GOING INTO THE COURT THAT WE HAD A REALLY GOOD CASE. THE LAW WAS ON OUR SIDE. AND IT WAS A AN AGGRESSIVELY PURSUED CASE BY BOTH THE GOVERNMENT AND OURSELVES AND MY REFLECTION IN HINDSIGHT ON THIS JOE IS THAT WE LIVE IN AN AMAZING COUNTRY. THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE DIDN'T LIKE THE DEAL, FELT IT WAS UNLAWFUL WE GOT OUR DAY IN COURT. AND AS MUCH AS WE CRITICIZE THE SYSTEM, THE SYSTEM WORKED. WE FEEL LIKE WE HAD A JUST AND GOOD ANSWER. WE FELT GOOD ABOUT HOW IT CAME OUT.

KERNEN: YOURE MODEST, BUT YOU PUT A LOT ON THE LINE, RANDALL AND ITS BEEN SAID IN SOME OF THE PAPERS NOT NECESSARILY THE JOURNAL. BUT I LOOK AT THE POST AND THE WAY ITS BEEN COVERED. YOU HAD ALL THE CHIPS ON THE TABLE AND I DONT THINK IT WOULD HAVE BEEN A GOOD OUTCOME FOR YOU EVEN PERSONALLY IF IT HADNT WORKED OUT AND YOU HAD A PREVIOUS SITUATION THAT DIDNT END SO WELL. SO YOU MUST -- THOSE ARE A LOT OF NIGHTS YOU HAD TO GO TO SLEEP WITH FOR 600 DAYS. ITS JUST -- IT MUST BE A RELIEF IT MUST BE A RELIEF AND A COMBINATION OF THAT AND ELATION I WOULD THINK

STEPHENSON I TAKE MY HAT OFF TO OUR LITIGATION TEAM. THEY DID AN AMAZING JOB PRESENTING A VERY GOOD CASE ON THIS TRANSACTION WE FEEL REALLY GOOD ABOUT WHERE IT CAME OUT.

KERNEN: NOW TO THIS NOW THERES THIS BIG BUS GOING BY AND YOURE THIS BIG DOG AND IM RUNNING AFTER IT AND NOW YOU CAUGHT IT. AND NOW ITS LIKE, YOU KNOW, YOU GOT THIS -- DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOURE GOING TO DO WITH THIS NOW? DO YOU FEEL CONFIDENT YOUVE GOT THE RIGHT PEOPLE IN PLACE TO MAKE THIS WORK

STEPHENSON YEAH. I FEEL REALLY GOOD ABOUT THE PEOPLE WE HAVE IN PLACE. AS YOU KNOW AND WE ANNOUNCED, JOHN STANKE I THINK MOST OF YOU KNOW HIM WILL BE RUNNING TIME WARNER BUT IN PLACE UNDER JOHN ARE THE TIME WARNER EXECUTIVES AND THE TEAM THAT JEFF BEWKES HAS BUILT OVER THE YEARS AND THIS IS A WORLD CLASS TEAM I MEAN, KEVIN SUJIHARA RUNNING WARNER BROTHERS STUDIOS IT DOESN'T GET ANY BETTER THAN THAT. PEPLER, HES CREATED AN AMAZING FRANCHISE AT HBO WERE EXCITED ABOUT INVESTING MORE IN HBO REALLY LEVERAGING UP THE DIRECT TO CONSUMER OPPORTUNITY WITH HBO WERE EXCITED ABOUT THAT AND THEN TURNER NETWORK. LOOK, THERES A MASS ADVERTISING INVENTORY INSIDE THE NETWORK. AND WE HAVE BROUGHT BRIAN LESSER OVER FROM WPP. ONE OF THE WORLDS TOP ADVERTISING EXECUTIVES TO BUILD A PLATFORM TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THAT TURNER ADVERTISING INVENTORY YOU PUT THIS TOGETHER WITH – WE HAD AT&T HAS 170 MILLION DIRECT TO CONSUMER RELATIONSHIPS. PEOPLE WITH SCREENS WHERE THEYRE GOING TO BE CONSUMING THIS MEDIA THIS ENTERTAINMENT AND THIS CONTENT AND BRINGING ALL OF THIS TOGETHER COMPREHENSIVELY I THINK IS A REALLY EXCITING THING JEFF YANG, YOU GUYS KNOW HIM HE SITS ON OUR BOARD, HE COINED A PHRASE WHEN WE DID THIS DEAL THAT WERE BUILDING A MODERN MEDIA COMPANY. THIS IS THE WORLD'S MODERN MEDIA COMPANY WITH ALL OF THESE CAPABILITIES AND I THINK PROBABLY ONE OF THE MORE INTERESTING ASPECTS TO THIS, JOE, IS THIS WHOLE INDUSTRY IS KIND OF BUILDING A TRAIN TRACK FROM EAST COAST TO THE WEST COAST AND HOPING THEY MEET IN THE MIDDLE. OUR HERE BUILDING BROADBAND NETWORKS BUILDING DIRECT TO CONSUMER CAPABILITIES AND UI'S AND YOU HAVE MEDIA AND ENTERTAINMENT OVER HERE THIS IS THE FIRST TIME WERE GOING TO BE BUILDING 5G NETWORK CAPABILITY, BUILDING USER INTERFACES THAT ARE DIGITALLY ENABLED ALL ABOUT THE EXPERIENCE OF THE CONSUMER TO CONSUME PREMIUM VIDEO PUTTING ALL OF THIS TOGETHER AND BUILDING COMPREHENSIVELY THIS ENVIRONMENT. I THINK THIS IS GOING TO BE SOMETHING VERY UNIQUE

BECKY QUICK: LETS TALK ABOUT THE CULTURE OF MERGING ALL THIS TOGETHER. THATS SOMETHING MARIO GABELLI BROUGHT UP IN THE LAST HOUR ON OUR SHOW. HE JUST MENTIONED THAT LOOK, IT IS KIND OF A CULTURE CLASH PUTTING ALL OF THESE TOGETHER YOU MENTIONED THE HUGE NUMBER OF TALENTED PEOPLE YOU HAVE WORKING HERE BUT THERES ALSO THIS IDEA THAT AT&T IS GOING TO WANT TO GET INVOLVED AND MAYBE GET INVOLVED WITH THE CREATIVE CONTENT AND TELL PEOPLE WHAT TO DO WHEN IT COMES TO LEARNING MORE ABOUT DATA ANALYTICS. HOW DOES THAT WORK WITH SOME OF THESE CREATIVE TYPES WHO ARE MAYBE USED TO RUNNING THINGS THEMSELVES

STEPHENSON YOU USED THE WORD CULTURE CLASH. MY MANAGEMENT CHALLENGES TO MAKE SURE ITS NOT A CLASH. THEY ARE DIFFERENT CULTURES. AND YOU WANT TO PRESERVE THE DIFFERENT CULTURES ITS REALLY IMPORTANT. THIS IS A BUSINESS WERE BUYING THAT IS ALL ABOUT CREATIVITY AND TALENT AND HOW CAN WE ENSURE THAT WE DONT DISRUPT OR INTERFERE WITH THAT CREATIVE CAPABILITY I SENT A LETTER OUT TO ALL OF OUR EMPLOYEES LAST NIGHT WHERE I COMMITTED THAT THEY WOULD HAVE ALL THE RESOURCES AND THE FLEXIBILITY AND FREEDOM TO DO WHAT THEY HAVE BEEN DOING SO WELL FOR SO LONG AND SO JOHN STANKE, THIS IS GOING TO BE ONE OF HIS CHALLENGES HOW DO YOU PRESERVE THAT CREATIVE CULTURE WE FEEL GOOD ABOUT IT. WERE GOING TO RUN THESE BUSINESSES FAIRLY INDEPENDENTLY, BUT THERE ARE THINGS WE NEED TO DO WHERE WE CREATE VALUE TOGETHER AS I MENTIONED THE ADVERTISING, MAKING SURE WERE BEGINNING TO THINK ABOUT CREATING CONTENT THAT IS CURATED AND FORMATTED FOR THE MOBILE ENVIRONMENT AS WELL. ACTUALLY, THE CREATIVE TALENT WITHIN TIME WARNER IS EXCITED ABOUT THAT SO THE MANAGERIAL CHALLENGES TO MAKE SURE WE DONT CREATE A CLASH, THAT WE CREATE A MELDING OF THESE CULTURES HAVE PRESERVED WHAT IS REALLY STRONG ABOUT EACH CULTURE.

ANDREW ROSS SORKIN: RANDALL, FIRST OF ALL, CONGRATULATIONS.

STEPHENSON THANK YOU.

SORKIN: TO THE CULTURE QUESTION AND SPECIFICALLY TO THE INVESTMENT QUESTION BECAUSE I -- FROM ALL THE CONVERSATIONS IVE HAD EVEN INSIDE TIME WARNER OF COURSE, THERE ARE QUESTIONS ABOUT WHAT KIND OF INVESTMENT WILL BE MADE AND HOW THAT'S GOING TO WORK. THERES GOING TO BE ABOUT $250 BILLION OF DEBT ON THE COMPANY AND HOW MUCH PRESSURE THAT'S GOING TO PUT YOU AND THEM UNDER. WHEN KEVIN COMES TO YOU AND SAYS, LOOK, I NEED TO GO SPEND $250 MILLION ON SOME NEW MOVIE, IS SOMEBODY GOING TO COME BACK TO HIM AND SAY, ACTUALLY, WE CANT DO THAT? OR IF RICHARD PEPLER COMES TOY OU SAYING NETFLIX IS SPENDING $8 BILLION A YEAR ON CONTENT IM SPENDING ABOUT $2.5 BILLION I ACTUALLY NEED AT BILLION OR TWO, CAN THEY GO OFF AND DO THAT

STEPHENSON WELL, I START WITH THE LEVEL OF DEBT. YOU SAID $250 BILLION. SOMEBODY SLIPPED $70 BILLION OF DEBT IN I WASNT AWARE OF. ITS $180 BILLION OF DEBT WELL HAVE WHEN WE CLOSE THIS. I KNOW THATS GOTTEN A LOT OF ATTENTION. BUT PEOPLE DONT PUT BEHIND THAT THIS IS A COMPANY THAT WILL HAVE WELL IN EXCESS OF $50 BILLION OF EBITDA AND SO WHILE AT THE CLOSE, OUR DEBT TO EBITDA WILL BE ABOVE LEVELS THAT WE HAVE TRADITIONALLY OPERATED ABOUT 2.9 TIMES. WITHIN A YEAR, THIS THING DELEVERS QUICKLY. IT WILL BE AT 2.5 TIMES. WITHIN FOUR YEARS, WELL BE BACK TO OUR NORMAL LEVELS OF DEBT. ANDREW, THIS IS A COMPANY THAT WHEN YOU PUT THEM TOGETHER IS STILL GOING TO BE INVESTING $22 BILLION OF CAPITAL AND TO THE EXTENT THAT WE NEED TO INVEST MORE TO MAKE THIS MEDIA ASSET EXTENT BETTER AND DO THE INTEGRATION, WE WILL NOT BE HESITANT TO INVEST MORE MONEY INTO THIS. AND THAT WAS THE LETTER TO THE EMPLOYEES LAST NIGHT YOU SHOULD ASSUME WERE COMMITTED TO INVESTING IN THIS BUSINESS AND SO WERE NOT GOING TO BE PENNY WISE AND POUND FOOLISH HERE WE INTEND TO INVEST YOU KNOW WHAT WE DO WHEN WE BUY BUSINESSES WE TEND TO INVEST AND I BELIEVE IN THE COMMUNICATIONS BUSINESS IF YOURE NOT INVESTING AT TOP TIER, YOU WONT REMAIN TOP TIER. I BELIEVE WERE GOING TO SEE THE SAME THING IN THE MEDIA ENTERTAINMENT WORLD IF YOU ARE NOT INVESTING IN TOP TIER YOU WILL NOT REMAIN TOP TIER.

SORKIN: RANDALL, WANTED TO GET YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE MEDIA AND TELECOM LANDSCAPE. OBVIOUSLY THERE'S THE DISNEY/COMCAST/FOX TRANSACTION AND THEN THERE'S SPRINT/T-MOBLIE HANGING OUT THERE AS WELL. FIRST JUST ON SPRINT/T-MOBLIE BECAUSE I KNOW THOSE ARE TWO COMPANIES YOU KNOW PARTICULARLY WELL – NOT THAT YOU DON'T KNOW THE OTHER ONES AS WELL EITHER, BUT FROM AN ANTITRUST PERSPECTIVE GIVEN THE WRINGER YOU JUST WENT THROUGH, DOES AT&T PLAN TO SAY ANYTHING ONE WAY OR THE OTHER ABOUT THE ANTITRUST IMPLICATIONS WHEN THE GOVERNMENT CALLS AND SAYS IS THIS SOMETHING YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE A PROBLEM WITH?

STEPHENSON: I'M NOT GOING TO SAY ANYTHING PUBLICLY BECAUSE IF I SAY I THINK THE DEAL MAKES SENSE AND OUGHT TO BE APPROVED, PEOPLE ARE GOING TO SAY, "SEE, IT'S ANTI-COMPETITIVE." AND IF I SAY IT SHOULD BE KILLED, THEY WILL SAY, "WELL, THEN IT'S A DEAL THAT OUGHT TO BE DONE." SO I'M GOING TO REMAIN QUIET AS IT RELATES TO WHAT OUR VIEWS OF IT ARE. WE'RE NOT GOING TO ENGAGE IN TERMS OF EITHER ADVOCATING OR CONTESTING THE DEAL. I THINK THEY HAVE AN INTERESTING ROAD AHEAD OF THEM IN TERMS OF THE APPROVAL PROCESS. I WISH THEM GOD SPEED. THEY'VE GOT A LONG ROAD AHEAD OF THEM. IT'S A HORIZONTAL DEAL NOT A VERTICAL DEAL. SO YOU'RE TAKING A COMPETITOR OUT OF THE MARKETPLACE SO IT'S GOING TO GET JUST AN EXTRA LEVEL OF SCRUTINY BECAUSE OF THAT. BUT SINCE WE TRIED TO DO THE ACQUISITION OF T-MOBLIE, THE WORLD HAS CHANGED. SO I THINK IT'S GOING TO GET A DIFFERENT LEVEL OF SCRUTINY AND A DIFFERENT REVIEW THAN WHAT WE RECEIVED, BUT I WISH THEM ALL THE BEST.

QUICK: RANDALL, JUST SPEAKING OF THAT, THE REST OF THE MEDIA WORLD AND TECHNOLOGY, TOO, HAS TAKEN JUDGE LEON'S COMMENTARY AND THE RULING HE HANDED DOWN ON AT&T AND SAID THIS IS SOMETHING WE CAN TAKE AND RUN WITH. THIS IS SOMETHING THAT GIVES US A BLUEPRINT FOR WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN. DO YOU BELIEVE THAT'S THE CASE OR DO YOU BELIEVE THIS WAS A ONE-OFF RULING ON YOUR PARTICULAR TRANSACTION?

STEPHENSON: I'VE LEARNED A LOT ABOUT OUR LEGAL SYSTEM IN THE LAST SIX TO SEVEN MONTHS, GRINDING THROUGH THIS AND SO FORTH. HERE'S ONE THING I LEARNED THAT I THINK IS REALLY IMPORTANT. WHEN YOU GET INTO THIS PROCESS, THE FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES ABOUT A PARTICULAR DEAL IS WHAT MATTERS. AND ON THIS PARTICULAR CASE, AT&T AND TIME WARNER, IT WAS THE FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES SURROUNDING OUR DEAL THAT WERE EVALUATED AND WERE ADJUDICATED SO I DON'T KNOW HOW TRANSFERABLE A LOT OF THIS IS TO THE NEXT DEAL. THAT WILL BE UP TO THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AND THOSE COMPANIES TO SORT OUT. BUT THIS ONE WAS VERY SPECIFIC AND THE PROCESS WAS SPECIFIC TO OUR SITUATION.

KERNEN: RANDALL, THE DAY IT HAPPENED, I SAID THE SAME THING. WHAT A COUNTRY. WHERE YOU CAN FIGHT CITY HALL. YOU SPANKED THE GOVERNMENT ON THIS. AND, LIKE, IT MUST FEEL – I MEAN, IT'S – YOU DON'T WANT TO GLOAT, I UNDERSTAND THAT, BUT IT IS AMAZING TO BE ABLE TO –

STEPHENSON: IT TRULY IS. WE HAVE THREE CO-EQUAL BRANCHES OF GOVERNMENT. AND THE CHECKS AND BALANCES IN THIS SITUATION WORKED EXACTLY THE WAY THEY WERE DESIGNED OVER 200 YEARS AGO. AND SO I JUST TAKE A LOT OF SATISFACTION AND A LOT OF PRIDE IN OUR COUNTRY THAT THIS WORKED THIS WAY.

KERNEN: DO YOU PUSH BACK ON THE NOTION THAT IT'S A DEFENSIVE MOVE, RANDALL? THAT IT'S LIKE SOMETHING WITH GOOGLE AND FACEBOOK AND NETFLIX AND EVERYTHING. IT'S SOMETHING THAT YOU'RE KIND OF FORCED TO DO INSTEAD OF CHOOSING TO DO IN A SYNERGISTIC WAY. LIKE SORT OF A –

STEPHENSON: NO, LOOK. I THINK THERES SOMETHING VERY IMPORTANT ABOUT THE COMPANIES YOU MENTIONED. AND SO GOOGLE, FACEBOOK, NETFLIX, AMAZON. WHAT ARE THEY ALL DOING? THESE ARE COMPANIES THAT LIVE AND DIE -- MOSTLY LIVE, THEY'VE ALL DONE QUITE WELL – BY GENERATING ENGAGEMENT. ENGAGEMENT ON THEIR PLATFORMS. AND WHAT I FIND MOST INTERESTING IS WHEN THEY SAY WE NEED ENGAGEMENT – AMAZON, IF THEY WANT TO SELL MORE COMMERCE, THEY WANT MORE ENGAGEMENT, WHERE DO THEY GO TO DRIVE ENGAGEMENT? THEY GO TO PREMIUM VIDEO. PREMIUM VIDEO IS WHAT DRIVES ENGAGEMENT ON THEIR PLATFORMS. I COMPLETELY AGREE WITH THAT. AND THEN PEOPLE WHO OVER THE LAST YEAR SAID THIS WORLD OF MEDIA ENTERTAINMENT COMPANIES ARE IN DECLINE. OH MY, WE'RE BUILDING OUT ALL NEW FORMS OF DISTRIBUTION. I MEAN, 5G IS COMING. THERE'S GOING TO BE OPPORTUNITIES TO DISTRIBUTE PREMIUM VIDEO LIKE WE'VE NEVER IMAGINED. WE ACTUALLY BELIEVED AT THE TIME THAT PREMIUM VIDEO WAS A GREAT PLACE TO INVEST AND TO BE AND THE TECH COMPANIES ARE JUST DEMONSTRATING THAT TO US. AND SO WE WANT TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS AND THE MORE DISTRIBUTION POUNTS AND CUSTOMERS WE ENABLE TO CONSUME PREMIUM VIDEO, THE MORE WE WANT TO OWN AND INVEST IN PREMIUM VIDEO ITSELF.

SORKIN: RANDALL, HOW DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE BATTLE OVER 21st CENTURY FOX'S ASSETS, BOTH ON THE DISNEY SIDE AND THE COMCAST SIDE AS A COMPETITOR WITH BOTH? AND NOW THAT YOU'VE GONE THROUGH THE WRINGER ON THE REGULATORY FRONT, HOW DO YOU ANALYZE THE SITUATION?

STEPHENSON: YOU KNOW, I DON'T KNOW WHERE IT LANDS. I'VE LISTENED TO EVERYBODY SPECULATE IN TERMS OF WHO WINS THE CONTEST HERE. I THINK THEY BOTH HAVE VERY LOGICAL REASONS FOR WANTING TO OWN THIS BUSINESS. THEY'RE NOT MUCH DIFFERENT THAN OURS. I MEAN, WHAT DO YOU WANT? YOU WANT EXTENSIVE PREMIUM CONTENT. YOU WANT EXTENSIVE DIRECT TO CONSUMER RELATIONSHIPS. AND IN A COMCAST SITUATION, THEY WANT INTERNATIONAL CAPABILITIES. WITH LATIN AMERICA, WE HAVE THE LARGEST PAID TV BUSINESS IN LATIN AMERICA. SO PAIRING TIME WARNER WITH THAT AND GIVING OURSELVES GREAT INTERNATIONAL CAPABILITIES IS GREAT. SO I'M KIND OF AMBIVALENT AS TO WHICH WAY IT GOES. I REALLY DON'T KNOW HOW TO ASSESS THE LEGAL ASPECTS OF IT. I HAVE MY OWN OPINIONS, BUT THEY'RE NOT REALLY RELEVANT TO THIS. WE'RE GOING TO RUN OUR PLAY. AND I THINK WHAT THEY'RE DOING AND WHAT THEY'RE PURSUING JUST REINFORCES A PLAY WE'RE RUNNING. WE THINK WE'RE ON THE RIGHT PATH AND WE WANT TO GET THERE FIRST. SO I'LL LET THEM GO FIGHT THEIR OWN LEGAL BATTLES AND LET THEM FIGHT TO GET THE PRIZE FOR FOX. WE'RE GOING TO GO EXECUTE OUR PLAY. THAT'S BEHIND US NOW. WE'RE ABOUT EXECUTION.

SORKIN: HEY RANDALL, ONE OTHER QUESTION AND IT'S SOMEWHAT POLITICAL. JOE SPOKE ABOUT THIS IDEA THAT YOU DID WIN THIS CASE AND YOU DID WIN IT THOROUGHLY AND MEANINGFULLY. WHAT WORRY DO YOU HAVE BOTH ABOUT A POTENTIAL OF AN APPEAL BUT EVEN MORE SO, DARE I SAY, RETRIBUTION. THE PRESIDENT WAS OUTSPOKEN AGAINST THIS TRANSACTION FROM THE VERY BEGINNING.

KERNEN: BUT SPEAKS VERY HIGHLY OF RANDALL.

SORKIN: SPEAKS HIGHLY OF RANDALL, BUT AT THE SAME TIME, HE HAS NOW LOST. HE HAS HISTORICALLY GONE AFTER ALL SORTS OF COMPANIES HE DOESN'T LIKE IN ALL SORTS OF DIFFERENT WAYS, WHETHER IT BE JEFF BEZOS AND AMAZON. NOT JUST THIS PARTICULAR CASE, BUT THE FCC OBVIOUSLY OVERSEES A LOT OF THE WORK THAT YOU DO. THERE ARE OTHER AGENCIES. DOES THAT CONCERN YOU AT ALL?

STEPHENSON: LOOK, THE ONE THING THIS CASE DEMONSTRATED IS THAT WE ARE A COUNTRY RULED BY LAW. AND SO I TAKE COMFORT IN THAT AND I THINK EVERYBODY SHOULD. WHILE THE PRESIDENT AND I DON'T AGREE ON EVERY SITUATION AND EVERYTHING, YOU KNOW, I HAVE ACTUALLY BEEN SUPPORTIVE OF A LOT OF THE THINGS HE'S DONE. HIS TAX REFORM BILL WAS UNBELIEVABLE. I AM JUST AMAZED AT WHAT HE'S DONE. I DON'T AGREE WITH SOME OF THE POSITIONS WE ARE TAKING ON TRADE – WE OBVIOUSLY HAVE A LOT OF BUSINESS IN MEXICO. BUT ALL IN ALL, NO, I'M NOT CONCERNED ABOUT RETRIBUTION AS WE MOVE FORWARD. AGAIN, WE ARE A NATION RULED BY LAWS.

QUICK: RANDALL, YOU SAID YOUR JOB NOW IS TO GO EXECUTE. WHAT, IF ANYTHING, WILL THE CONSUMER NOTICE AS A CHANGE OF AT&T TAKING OVER TIME WARNER?

STEPHENSON: SO I PREVIEWED IN THE COURTROOM ONE OF THE FIRST THINGS THE CONSUMER IS GOING TO SEE. AND THAT IS, AS WE THINK ABOUT DISTRIBUTING CONTENT, PARTICULARLY TO THE MOBILE DEVICE, WE WILL BE LAUNCHING – AND YOU'RE GOING TO HEAR MORE ABOUT THIS NEXT WEEK – WE'LL BE LAUNCHING A PRODUCT CALLED WATCH TV. AT&T WATCH TV. AND THIS IS A VERY, VERY SKINNY BUNDLE THAT EVERY SINGLE ONE OF OUR MOBILE CUSTOMERS WILL GET. IT WILL BE THE TURNER CONTENT. IT WILL NOT HAVE SPORTS. IT WILL BE ENTERTAINMENT CENTERED. AND IT WILL BE – IF YOU'RE AN AT&T UNLIMITED CUSTOMER – IT WILL BE FREE OR YOU CAN BUY IT FOR $15 A MONTH ON ANY PLATFORM. AND SO, THOSE ARE THE KINDS OF THINGS WE ARE GOING TO BRING TO MARKET. OBVIOUSLY, THESE WILL BE AD SUPPORTED MODELS. AND SO BRIAN LESSER, WE HIRED HIM AND WE'RE STANDING UP A SIGNFICANT ADVERTISING PLATFORM. YOU SHOULD EXPECT SOME SMALLER, NOT LIKE TIME WARNER, BUT SOME SMALLER M&A IN THE COMING WEEKS TO DEMONSTRATE OUR COMMITMENT TO THAT. BUT THOSE ARE THE KINDS OF THINGS YOU'RE GOING TO SEE, BECKY.

KERNEN: WOW. SO YOU HAVEN'T BEEN JUST SITTING AROUND FOR 600 DAYS.

STEPHENSON: THERE HASN'T BEEN MUCH SITTING GOING ON, JOE.

KERNEN: RANDALL, I REMEMBER, YOU KNOW, MERRILL LYNCH. I REMEMBER I SOLD STOCK TO PEOPLE IN 1985, I THINK, AND AT&T THEY GOT, LIKE, SEVEN OF THESE COMPANIES. I MEAN, IT GOES BACK TO ROBERT ALLEN, I THINK. RIGHT? I THINK.

STEPHENSON: THAT WOULD BE RIGHT.

KERNEN: AND THEN – SO I'VE SEEN EVERYTHING ELSE. I JUST WONDER, HAVE YOU TALKED TO WHITACRE? DOES HIS CHEST JUST SWELL UP IN PRIDE? HAVE YOU TALKED TO ED SINCE THE DEAL CAME THROUGH?

STEPHENSON: I WAS ACTUALLY WITH ED LAST WEEKEND AND WE HAD A NICE TALK ABOUT THIS.

KERNEN: THAT WAS BEFORE IT HAPPENED, RIGHT?

STEPHENSON: IT WAS. ED OBVIOUSLY, HE TEXTED ME WHEN THE RULING CAME DOWN ON OUR DEAL HIS QUOTE WAS, "I FEEL GOOD." AND I SAID, "WELL SO DO I, ED."

KERNEN: I BET. BECAUSE HE BROUGHT BACK – I DON'T KNOW. AND HOW ABOUT DORMAN? YOU TALK TO DORMAN? DORMAN MUST BE SMILING LIKE A CHESHIRE CAT.

STEPHENSON: YEAH, YOU GUYS HAD – OR CNBC HAD DORMAN ON EARLIER THIS WEEK.

KERNEN: YEAH. BEFORE THE ANNOUNCEMENT.

STEPHENSON: AND HE'S HAPPY WITH WHAT WE'RE DOING RIGHT NOW. HE'S OBVIOUSLY BEEN PAYING CAREFUL ATTENTION TO THIS BECAUSE HE'S CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD OF CVS AND THEY'RE TRYING TO DO A VERTICAL TRANSACTION. SO I'VE SPOKEN TO HIM A LOT.

KERNEN: I HAVEN'T, YOU KNOW, I DON'T FOLLOW YOUR COMINGS AND GOINGS THAT MUCH. HAVE YOU BEEN OUT TO L.A.? YOU LOOKING AROUND OUT THERE FOR SOME REAL ESTATE? WHEN I CALLED YOU MR. HOLLYWOOD, YOU DIDN'T REALLY EMBRACE THAT, DID YOU?

STEPHENSON: DOESN'T FIT, DOES IT, JOE? I CAN'T AFFORD LOS ANGELES REAL ESTATE, MAN. I'M NOT LOOKING FOR ANYTHING OUT THERE.

KERNEN: RON'S HOUSE – I THINK IT'S ON MALIBU. YOU GOING TO STAY IN DALLAS?

STEPHENSON: I LOVE DALLAS. YOU DONT LIKE DALLAS?

KERNEN: NO, I DO LIKE DALLAS. I'M KIDDING.

STEPHENSON: IT'S A GREAT PLACE TO DO BUSINESS, MAN. VERY BUSINESS FRIENDLY.

KERNEN: YOU'RE A MOGUL NOW. YOU'RE A MOGUL NOW. YOU CAN'T STAY IN TEXAS, I DON'T THINK.

STEPHENSON: JOHN STANKEY IS THE MOGUL. I JUST RUN A SIMPLE LITTLE COMMUNICATION AND MEDIA COMPANY, OKAY.

KERNEN: SPEAKING OF STANKEY, HE CAN LOOK OVER THE LANDSCAPE. HE'S LIKE EIGHT FEET TALL. HOW TALL IS STANKEY, SERIOUSLY?

STEPHENSON: YOU'RE EXAGGERATING. HE'S JUST UNDER SEVEN FEET.

KERNEN: JUST UNDER SEVEN FEET. SO I GUESS WE'RE GOING TO GO NOW. THERE'S SO MANY RAMIFICATIONS. THIS HAS BEEN A TOLSTOY NOVEL, HONEST TO GOD. IT'S BEEN LIKE I DON'T KNOW WHICH ONE. "WAR AND PEACE" OR SOMETHING. THE WAY THE MACHINATIONS. AND THEN –

STEPHENSON: AND I GOT TO TELL YOU , I WANT TO THANK JEFF BEWKES. HE REALLY HUNG TOUGH AND HE NEVER WAVERED EITHER. SO THIS IS A PROCESS WE WENT THROUGH TOGETHER AND HE WAS A REAL LEADER THROUGH ALL OF THIS. HATS OFF TO JEFF, AS WELL.

KERNEN: VERY GOOD. WELL, YOU KNOW, "SQUAWK BOX" HAS A GREAT RELATIONSHIP, TOO. I DON'T KNOW WHAT THIS MEANS FOR, YOU KNOW, GOLF TOURNAMENTS AND STUFF. I CAN'T IMAGINE ITS A BAD THING.

STEPHENSON: FEBRUARY IS RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER. START PRACTICING, JOE. SOMEDAY YOU'RE GOING TO MAKE THE CUT OUT THERE.

KERNEN: YOU KNOW I MADE IT THE FIRST YEAR. I KNOW YOU KNOW THAT. YEAH, BUT ITS BEEN, YOU KNOW –

STEPHENSON: BUT GREG MAFFEI KICKED YOUR REAR END THIS LAST YEAR.

KERNEN: YEAH, HE DID. YOU KNOW, AFTER I WAS SAYING ARE YOU REALLY TAKING THIS GAME OUT AND THEN HE DID RISE TO THE OCCASION.

STEPHENSON: SURE HE DID.

KERNEN: HE SHOWED ME. ALL RIGHT. RANDALL STEPHENSON, THANK YOU.

STEPHENSON: THANK YOU.

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