Sunday, 22 July 2018
Latest news
Main » Justice Department Sues To Block AT&T's Merger With Time Warner

Justice Department Sues To Block AT&T's Merger With Time Warner

21 November 2017

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) is reportedly set to sue the company to block its $84.5 billion takeover of Time Warner, according to a report from Bloomberg News.

"This merger would greatly harm American consumers", Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim of the DOJ's antitrust division said in a statement.

Earlier this month, reports suggested that the DOJ was pushing AT&T to sell off either DirecTV or Turner Broadcasting, which houses CNN, in order to get the green light for the merger.

More news: Bill Clinton says Trump should "stop seeking enemies"

AT&T responded in a statement, calling the lawsuit "a radical and inexplicable departure from decades of antitrust precedent".

AT&T reaffirmed its plans to challenge the government's lawsuit, arguing that its plan is a "vertical" merger without competitive overlap. "Fortunately, the Department of Justice doesn't have the final say in this matter".

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. The officials said they flatly rejected the offer.

More news: Rampage: First Trailer Unleashes Monsters on Chicago

The move may be a pointer that the Trump administration will look closely at other big merger deals.

"Blocking this merger is the right thing to do - and we hope the Justice Department is doing it for the right reasons", said Craig Aaron, president of advocacy group Free Press, which opposes media industry consolidation.

AT&T's CEO Randall Stephenson, however, has countered that notion and said he was never under pressure to spin off CNN. Now, CNBC has reported that the DOJ has issued the suit today.

More news: Province Proposes Legislation to End College Strike

Justice Department Sues To Block AT&T's Merger With Time Warner