Home » Money

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

24 November, 2017, 01:03 | Author: Paula Vaughn
  • DOJ poised to sue AT&T to stop Time Warner merger: report

The suit against AT&T could be the start of a new, more aggressive tack in antitrust by the Justice Department.

AT&T's general counsel, David McAtee, said: "Today's DOJ lawsuit is a radical and inexplicable departure from decades of antitrust precedent".

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said the idea his company would be too powerful after the deal "borders on the comical".

The Justice Department has suggested that AT&T could resolve the case by selling off DirecTV or a Time Warner business that includes CNN, according to a person familiar with the situation who couldn't go on the record.

In 2011, Obama-era antitrust regulators waved through Comcast's acquisition of NBC Universal - a deal that, like the current one, brought together a major provider of television and internet service and an entertainment conglomerate.

The head of the department's anti-trust division, Makan Delrahim, said the merger would "greatly harm American consumers". During the campaign, and since his election, Trump has regularly attacked CNN, calling the network "terrible" and "fake news" at his first press conference after the election.

Latest Sexual Assault Charges Against Bill Clinton Might Stick, Journalist Says
The Clintons, the press and the feminists did everything they could to destroy the lives of these women and got away with it. The Democratic source says that the team is looking to "stop the women from filing charges and drag him through the mud".

But that's not why the Justice Department is suing to block the merger in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Consumers Union, an advocacy group that opposes the deal, said there were "legitimate reasons" to block the deal to protect consumers, but called reports of political pressure "concerning".

Earlier this month it was reported that Justice Department officials had demanded that AT&T sell off CNN's parent company from Time Warner as a condition for regulatory approval, raising questions about whether President Trump was intervening in the deal to retaliate against CNN for its critical coverage of him. The last time the US government won a court victory in a vertical merger antitrust case was in 1972, when the Supreme Court said Ford's takeover of a spark-plug business violated antitrust law. "It won't bode well for the government if it does", said Dan Petrocelli, a lawyer representing AT&T. It already has a DirecTV Now streaming service, which puts popular live TV networks online, and costs $35 a month and up, cheaper than traditional cable bundles. Just last week, the Federal Communications Commission voted to dramatically loosen local media ownership laws, which will allow the conservative Sinclair Broadcasting to gobble up television and radio stations in the same markets.

Delrahim, the antitrust chief, has previously expressed a preference for requiring companies to sell off assets rather than allowing mergers to proceed with conditions on the merged company's behavior.

'We'll look at breaking that deal up and other deals like that.

The government claims that consumer cable bills will rise if the merger goes through, saying the deal would "substantially lessen competition, resulting in higher prices and less innovation for millions of Americans". Comcast only operates in certain regions. Deals like AT&T's proposed purchase of Time Warner are called vertical mergers because they don't wipe an existing competitor out of the marketplace.

For its part, AT&T sharply rejected the US government's claims.

Recommended:



Popular

Larry Nassar, Former USA Gymnastics Doctor, Pleads Guilty to Sexual Assault
They are calling on Michigan State University, USA Gymnastics and the U.S. He faces a possible minimum of forty years in prison. Olympic gymnastics team doctor Lawrence G.

Chrissy Teigen and John Legend Expecting Second Baby
Adding to the fun, Legend made reference to the USA version of Jeremy Kyle, writing: "Maury will have the final word on this". Chrissy Teigen attends Target's Toycracker Premiere event at Spring Studios in New York City.

Rockets blitz Nuggets with 75-point first half, cruise to victory
Millsap picked up the injury in the second quarter of Denver's 127-109 defeat to the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday. Tucker started in Anderson's place, while Luc Mbah a Moute scored 13 points in 26 minutes behind Paul.

Kris Jenner Just "Confirmed" Kylie & Khloe Are Pregnant With Latest Instagram Post
Naturally, Instagram users are speculating that those extra clothes belong to Kylie and Khloe's reported babies in the comments. Kris posted a photo that showed off the nine sets of pajamas that she plans on gifting to her grandkids.

The world's fifth largest company is now Tencent, not Facebook
The company also targets to bring its very popular multiplayer game, Honor of Kings , to the United States. Tencent is now attempting to take over the US market and has acquired stakes in both Tesla and Snap.