US appeals judge's order allowing AT&T to buy Time Warner

US appeals judge's order allowing AT&T to buy Time Warner

US appeals judge's order allowing AT&T to buy Time Warner

AT&T has moved quickly to integrate AT&T's broadband, pay-TV and mobile business with Time Warner's popular TV networks. The potential ramifications here are huge and involve several entities, not to mention the precedent it could set.

The Justice Department will appeal the $85 billion AT&T-Time Warner mega-merger a month after a federal judge gave it his blessing. AT&T said it was surprised by the decision and would defend the merger in court again.

The government will now seek a reversal of that ruling in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the court which handles most of the leading antitrust cases.

The Trump administration has opposed the deal from the start.

Judge Richard Leon, who presided over the lawsuit the DOJ had brought to block the deal, ruled last month that the government had failed to show that the deal violates antitrust law, and in his opinion ripped apart its case.

The government's notice of appeal filed in U.S. District Court in Washington did not disclose on what grounds it intends to challenge the approval.

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AT&T is a phone, cable and satellite behemoth that became the biggest pay-TV provider in the US with its acquisition of DirecTV in 2014. The president's statements didn't come up during the trial, though his antipathy loomed in the background. "Together, AT&T and Time Warner concluded that both companies could stop "chasing taillights" and catch up with the competition".

AT&T also said that in the short term, it would have no role in setting Turner prices and the number of Turner employees and target compensation and benefits would remain "largely unchanged".

That apparently wasn't enough, however, to satisfy the Justice Department.

Comcast started a bidding war with Disney for the entertainment assets of Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox in the days following the court ruling.

Waiting in the wings are potential big-billions deals involving Verizon and CBS and T-Mobile and Sprint.

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