AT&T Gets Legal Backing In $85bn Deal

By Ikenga Chronicles June 13, 2018

AT&T Gets Legal Backing In $85bn Deal

AT&T has been given a legal backing through a federal judge on Tuesday, to secure Time Warner at $85 billion.

The deal has been tipped to help reshape the media industry.

With the trial lasting six-weeks, Judge Richard Leon ruled that the government had failed to prove that the deal violates antitrust law, and ripped apart its case.

He said such a stay plea by the Justice Department would be “manifestly unjust” because it would have the effect of killing the acquisition.

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In their reaction to the victory, AT&T vowed to wrap up the deal by June 20 — meaning that HBO, CNN, Warner Bros. and Time Warner’s other brands will change hands next week.

In addition, the deal will unite Time Warner’s TV shows and movies with AT&T’s enormous distribution system, including cell phone and satellite networks.

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“This was a defining case for antitrust enforcement in the US,” former Justice Department antitrust attorney Ketan Jhaveri said. “It does seem to be a complete and total victory for AT&T.”

In a blunt statement after the ruling was issued, Time Warner (TWX) accused President Trump of influencing the DOJ’s decision to bring the case.

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Time Warner said the government’s lawsuit was baseless, “political in its motivation,” and should have never been brought.

Meanwhile, AT&T and Time Warner say the combined company can leverage viewer data to make better content to sell more targeted ads, which they claim could help lower prices for consumers.