Justice Dept. to sue to stop AT&T's $85B Time Warner deal

Justice Dept. to sue to stop AT&T's $85B Time Warner deal

The Justice Department on Monday sued to hinder AT&T's $85.4 billion offer for Time Warner, setting up a standoff over the main blockbuster obtaining to precede the Trump organization.

That sets the stage for an epic legal battle with AT&T. A person familiar with the matter, who could not go on record, had previously told the AP that DOJ wanted the company to sell either Turner, the parent of CNN, TBS and other networks, or DirecTV.

"Were this merger allowed to proceed, the newly combined firm likely would - just as AT&T/DirecTV has already predicted - use its control of Time Warner's popular programming as a weapon to harm competition", states the DOJ complaint filed in the case. Mergers between such companies have typically had an easier time winning government approval.

The Justice Department's lawsuit cited internal Time Warner documents that said long-term contracts to host live sporting events like college basketball and baseball would help allow it to achieve "targeted rate increases".

More news: Hunt on for missing Argentine submarine

"This merger would significantly hurt American purchasers", Mr. Delrahim, the associate lawyer general for antitrust, said in an announcement.

Without "an adequate remedy that would fully prevent the harms, the "only appropriate action" was to seek an injunction from a federal judge in hopes of blocking the merger, according to the official".

AT&T reaffirmed its plans to challenge the government's lawsuit, arguing that its plan is a "vertical" merger without competitive overlap.

However, the chairman and CEO of AT&T denied any of that ever happened. The Justice Department and the White House have denied that this is an effort to punish CNN for coverage Donald Trump has hated.

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