AT&T CEO says open to litigation on Time Warner deal

12 November, 2017, 01:56 | Author: Warren Cooper
  • AT&T may have to dump CNN to get Time Warner deal approved

The Justice Department, which is reviewing the $85.4 billion deal, recently presented the options to the companies, the source added, confirming reports from USA media and the Financial Times. Then he added: "I do feel you should have as many news outlets as you can - especially since so many are fake".

He was responding to tense negotiations over AT&T's proposed merger with Time Warner.

Earlier this week reports emerged that AT&T offered to divest just CNN but the US Justice Department rejected the offer, according to Reuters.

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson has denied that his company would ever sell CNN, while Vanity Fair reported some in media are speculating Murdoch has been quietly urging Trump to tank the merger in revenge for Time Warner declining an $80 billion buyout offer in 2014.

Trump during a campaign appearance in 2016 called the merger "an example of the power structure I'm fighting" and called it "a deal we will not approve in my administration because it's too much concentration of power in the hands of too few".

NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA) Overvalued by -21.5%
Janney Montgomery Scott Limited Liability Company owns 0.05% invested in NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ: NVDA ) for 29,316 shares. This compares to the consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters that called for $0.94 in EPS and $2.36 billion in revenue.

The head of the Justice Department's antitrust division, Makan Delrahim, said in a statement late on Thursday that he has "never been instructed by the White House" on the AT&T deal. The White House has also said that Trump has not spoken to Attorney General Jeff Sessions about the matter, nor were any White House officials authorized to speak to DOJ on it.

Time Warner shares dropped 6.5 percent to $88.50 Wednesday.

Consumer groups, some TV networks and some conservative groups have criticized the deal, saying it would hurt consumers by allowing AT&T to discriminate against TV networks it doesn't own or raise prices on other cable and satellite TV companies for its programming. AT&T stock closed up 1.1 percent at $33.44. Several Democratic lawmakers have also pushed back against the combination.

AT&T has long noted that "vertical mergers" - when one company buys another that isn't a direct competitor - are typically approved.

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