Department Of Justice To Sue To Block AT&T, Time Warner Merger

21 November, 2017, 01:25 | Author: Lora Ball
  • Getty  Alex Wong

The Justice Department intends to sue AT&T to stop its $85 billion purchase of Time Warner, according to a person familiar with the matter who was not authorized to discuss the matter ahead of the suit's official filing.

Mark Cuban thinks the big losers of the DOJ's decision to sue to block the AT&T-Time Warner merger will be Google and Facebook.

The Justice Department official also warned that such a merger could allow AT&T to slow down advances in technology that would cut costs for consumers.

Bloomberg's source said that the announcement will be about the Justice Department working to block the AT&T/Time Warner deal.

AT&T head lawyer David McAtee said so-called vertical mergers, between companies that are not direct competitors, are routinely approved. In 2011, for example, the office affirmed a comparative arrangement - Comcast's obtaining of NBCUniversal - in the wake of forcing various conditions on the exchange.

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Some news reports have said DOJ would only allow the merger if AT&T disposed of either DirecTV or Turner Broadcasting, including CNN.

In the deal, AT&T seeks to vertically integrate its wireless and pay-TV capabilities with Time Warner's video content including Warner Bros. studios and cable channels such as HBO, CNN, TNT and TBS.

"We see no legitimate reason for our merger to be treated differently", the statement said.

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said the idea his company would be too powerful after the deal "borders on the comical". "We are confident that the court will reject the government's claims and permit this merger under longstanding legal precedent".

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