The US DOJ May Be Appealing the AT&T-Time Warner Merger Trial

Ivan Schwartz
July 15, 2018

It said it was "surprised" by the government's decision and "ready to defend the court's decision". "The government has had this merger on hold, the video programming and distribution industry has continued to evolve at a breakneck pace".

On Thursday, AT&T said: "The court's decision could hardly have been more thorough, fact-based and well researched". The Justice Department still had 60 days, however, to appeal the decision approving the merger.

Asked about CNN's potential role in the merger's difficulties, AT&T chief executive officer Randall Stephenson said: "Frankly, I don't know".

AT&T's $85 billion purchase of Time Warner is once again facing a regulatory battle with the US Department of Justice. AT&T's expert witnesses claimed during the trial that merging with Time Warner would create efficiencies and allow the company to lower the prices charged to consumers. 589.17 million shares or 1.52% less from 598.25 million shares in 2017Q4 were reported.

In addition, AT&T Communications will have no say in setting Turner's prices or other terms in contracts with companies that distribute its content.

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The appeal could be seen as a warning sign for companies that have pursued their own mergers in the wake of Leon's decision, Kimmelman added.

AT&T argued that it needed that scale to compete with rivals such as Netflix and Amazon.

Time Warner has been incorporated into an new entity within AT&T called WarnerMedia, which includes HBO, the Warner Bros. studios, and Turner networks such as CNN and TBS.

The deal also seemed to set the stage for even more consolidation between telecom and media companies, leading Comcast to challenge Disney for ownership of Fox's film and TV assets.

Looming over the DOJ's appeal is the Trump factor. "We continue to believe that the pay-TV market will be less competitive and less innovative as a result of the proposed merger between AT&T and Time Warner", US assistant attorney general Makan Delrahim said last month.

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