Warner Bros. Discovery Directors Step Down Amid Antitrust Inquiry

Warner Bros. Discovery said on Monday that two members of its board of directors, Steven Newhouse and Steven Miron, had stepped down after the company learned about an investigation into whether their presence on the board violated antitrust law.

Federal law forbids most corporate officers and board members to simultaneously serve on the boards of their competitors.

Mr. Newhouse and Mr. Miron are both executives at Advance, a private, family-held business whose holdings include the Condé Nast glossy magazine empire that publishes titles such as Vogue and The New Yorker.

Advance is also one of the biggest shareholders of Charter Communications, a cable company that, like Warner Bros. Discovery, sells streaming services to its customers. Mr. Miron has served on Charter’s board of directors since before Warner Bros. Discovery made its debut in 2022, and a relative of Mr. Newhouse’s also serves on the board.

Steven Miron served simultaneously on the Warner Bros. Discovery and Charter boards.Credit…Gary Gershoff/Getty Images

A statement from Warner Bros. Discovery said Mr. Miron and Mr. Newhouse had resigned from the 13-seat board without admitting any violation, “rather than to contest the matter.”

Mr. Newhouse and Mr. Miron are also long-serving advisers to David Zaslav, the chief executive of Warner Bros. Discovery, and each has deep experience in the media business.

The Justice Department said in a statement that Mr. Miron’s and the Newhouse family’s seats on the Warner Bros. Discovery and Charter boards were probably violations of antitrust law.

“Today’s announcement is a win for consumers,” said Michael Kades, deputy assistant attorney general of the department’s antitrust division.

U.S. regulators have been pushing in recent years to enforce the nation’s antitrust laws more aggressively. The Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission have filed lawsuits arguing that major companies, including tech giants like Apple and Google, are abusive monopolies. The agencies have also blocked mergers and acquisitions, including Penguin Random House’s attempted purchase of Simon & Schuster and the JetBlue Airways acquisition of Spirit Airlines.

The Justice Department has also increased its enforcement of the law that forbids a person to serve as a director for competitors. Last year, the agency announced that two Pinterest board members had resigned from the board of Nextdoor, the neighborhood social network, as a result of its efforts.

In a statement, Mr. Zaslav thanked Mr. Newhouse and Mr. Miron for their service on the Warner Bros. Discovery board, citing their “wise counsel and tremendous industry insight.”

“We are enormously grateful for their steadfast support and wish them the very best,” Mr. Zaslav said.

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