Court allows AT&T purchase of Time Warner

Courts To M&A Bankers “Everbody Gets Laid!”

"I conclude that the government has failed to meet its burden of proof", District Court Judge Richard Leon told the court. The Department of Justice objected to the ruling, saying the deal violates antitrust law.

President Trump's Justice Department had pushed back hard against the deal - claiming it would give AT&T too much leverage, which would result in consumers facing increases in their pay-TV bills.

"The impact from this decision will have wide reaching ramifications across the telecommunications, media, and tech industry for decades to come", said GBH Insights analyst Dan Ives. For instance, AT&T could charge other content providers (including Verizon, which owns HuffPost's parent company, Oath) artificially high prices to air the cable channels it acquired through Time Warner. The $85 billion move has been on hold for more than a year.

"The government here has taken its best shot to oppose this merger", Leon said, speaking to a packed courtroom in an unusual session weeks after the trial ended. However, now that the AT&T deal has been approved by a federal judge, there is precedent for such a deal and Comcast believes it won't be blocked. If it's not wrapped up by then, either company could walk away, and AT&T would have to pay a $500 million breakup fee. The loss is a black eye for the Justice Department.

The decision is a huge loss for the Justice Department, which broke from recent tradition by challenging the vertical merger, which involves two companies that don't compete directly with each other.

Courts To M&A Bankers “Everbody Gets Laid!”
BREAKING: AT&T, Time Warner Merger Cleared

"We are disappointed that the court missed an opportunity to rein in the First Amendment-crushing mass media consolidation trend, which puts too much media power in the hands of too few", Manning said in a statement. It claims about 25 million of the 90 million or so USA households that are pay-TV customers. Leon's ruling raises the question of whether Delrahim can successfully maintain that stance. Comcast is also expected to make a bid for 21 Century Fox's television division.

Time Warner controls assets such as HBO, CNN and, most importantly, Warner Bros. And in order to stay competitive, AT&T's CEO Randall Stephenson said during the trial that it needed a big deal to survive.

If AT&T is successful in its bid to buy Time Warner, it will nearly certainly find itself competing in a media market dominated by other large, integrated providers. The companies rejected both options.

"Judge OKs AT&T merger with Time Warner, rejecting government argument it would hurt pay-TV consumers, competition". In fact, he suggested, consumers could end up paying less after a merger - maybe even $500 million less annually. If AT&T and Time Warner win, it will likely be full steam ahead.

"We think the evidence throughout the trial was quite clear and we're very pleased that the court saw it the same way", said Daniel Petrocelli, AT&T's lawyer. And the company said it plans to close the merger, which was announced a year and a half ago, on or before June 20.

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