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AT&T can buy Time Warner as judge shuts down Department of Justice

13 June 2018

AT&T Inc won court approval on Tuesday to buy Time Warner Inc for $85 billion (£63.5 billion), rebuffing an attempt by U.S. President Donald Trump's administration to block the deal and likely setting off a wave of corporate mergers. In fact, CNNMoney reported that AT&T-Time Warner's counsel Daniel Petrocelli made the argument that traditional media orgs have already been left behind in the digital revolution. Or it could hurt Netflix and other content producers by locking them out of AT&T's multi-channel distribution network.

Some critics of President Trump have questioned whether the case was brought as political payback against Time Warner's CNN for unfavorable coverage of President Trump, who often called the cable news channel "fake news".

According to Deadline, CEO Brian Roberts told investors during the company's annual shareholders meeting early Monday morning that Comcast is in the "advanced stages" of preparing a bid for 21st Century Fox - an offer dependent on the ruling in the AT&T-Time Warner anti-trust case, which is expected later today.

For months AT&T efforts to merge with Time Warner have been held up by the Department of Justice efforts to block the merger. T-Mobile also has a deal to buy Sprint. He also urged the government not to seek a stay when issuing his decision in a closed-door room with reporters.

With this merger, the amount of companies that own everything we watch, see, and hear is shrinking down even more.

AT&T and Time Warner announced their deal on October 22, 2016, in the midst of the bitterly contested presidential campaign between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

On Tuesday, Wall Street considered Leon's decision a "canary in the coal mine" - or an indicator for whether Comcast could go ahead with an all-cash hostile bid for parts of 21st Century Fox.

AT&T can buy Time Warner as judge shuts down Department of Justice
AT&T can buy Time Warner as judge shuts down Department of Justice

"This will be a blockbuster summer for media mergers", said Mary Ann Halford, senior adviser to OC&C Strategy Consultants.

A federal judge has approved AT&T's merger with Time Warner, a massive media deal opposed by the government that will shape how much consumers pay for streaming TV and movies.

AT&T says it plans to move forward with the deal in less than a week, leaving a small window of time for the justice department to file an appeal. "Should be interesting, although I certainly wouldn't count Disney out".

For the past six weeks, AT&T has been in court over concern of its want to purchase Time Warner for a total of $85 billion. AT&T asked the court to focus on the former.

In making its case, the USA government argued that the merger of AT&T could harm consumers in a number of ways. "AT&T and Time Warner concluded that each had a problem the other could solve", he wrote.

Leon of the U.S. District Court in Washington, said the Justice Department had not proved that the telecom company's acquisition of Time Warner would lead to fewer choices for consumers and higher prices for television and internet services.

In May it was revealed that AT&T had paid Michael Cohen, Trump's personal attorney, $600,000 for consultancy fees as it attempted to woo the White House.

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AT&T can buy Time Warner as judge shuts down Department of Justice