AT&T Threatens Litigation If DOJ Blocks Takeover

By on November 15, 2017

November 15, 2017

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson says his company has no intention of selling CNN as part of the Time Warner takeover and will fight any attempt to make that a condition of the $85 billion deal. Stephenson defended the merger against critics, among them President Trump, who has repeatedly attacked CNN on social media. Trump’s spleen is thought to be behind the insistence that CNN be severed from the purchase, but there are rumored to be other conditions that are related to competition and are just as onerous. AT&T is said to have a choice of either selling Turner Broadcasting or divesting its satellite television unit, DirecTV. Analysts say this undercuts the rationale for, the deal – to combine content, wireless service, and TV distribution. “This is a classic vertical merger,” said Stephenson. “There are no overlaps of competition; there are no competitors being taken out of this market.” AT&T and Time Warner have until April 22 for the merger agreement to close, but it now appears unlikely that deadline will be met.
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The Los Angeles Times

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