AT&T defeats U.S. in fight to buy Time Warner

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on February 26, 2019 - Duration: 01:25s

AT&T defeats U.S. in fight to buy Time Warner

A U.S. appeals court approved wireless carrier AT&T Inc’s deal to buy media company Time Warner on Tuesday, a defeat for the U.S. Justice Department which had argued the $85.4 billion merger would mean higher prices for consumers.

Havovi Cooper reports.

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AT&T defeats U.S. in fight to buy Time Warner

A U.S. appeals court on Tuesday unanimously approved AT&T's deal to buy Time Warner.

That's a major blow for the U.S. Justice Department, which in 2017, sued to stop the $85.4 billion merger -arguing it would mean higher prices for consumers.

The DOJ contended AT&T, which owns DirecTV, would use ownership of Time Warner's content, such as CNN and HBO's "Game of Thrones," to make rivals pay more OR it could threaten to "black out" Turner's channels- tempting customers to drop their current providers and switch to AT&T services.

The government's case came after U.S. President Donald Trump- a frequent detractor of Time Warner's CNN... NATSOT TRUMP: ... criticized the merger first announced in October 2016.

But in Tuesday's ruling- the U.S. district judge ripped apart the government's case and ruled the merger could proceed with no condition.

The deal was seen as a turning point for a media industry that has been upended by companies like Netflix and Google which produce content and sell it online directly to consumers, without requiring a cable subscription.

AT&T said it hoped that this ruling would end the court fight.

The Justice Department had no immediate comment.

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