Published on : Nov 21, 2017
AT&T, a telecom giant, has been denied by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) for the acquisition of Time Warner, which owns HBO and CNN. A lawsuit has been filed by the department against the company noting that the merger would lead to higher consumer prices and reduce competition. The company has labeled the department’s move as a radical departure from U.S. antitrust practice. Makan Delrahim, assistant attorney general for the antitrust division, has said the deal would mean less of the emerging and new innovative options and higher monthly television bills for consumers. The department had begun to review the deal post its announcement last year and valuation at an over US$85.0 bn.
U.S. Media Previously Reported DOJ Pushing AT&T to Sell Assets for Approval
President Donald Trump had said during his presidential campaign conducted last October that the deal would not be approved in his administration for the reason that it would mean too much concentration of power in the hands of fewer people. The DOJ has said that the deal would pressurize pay TV competitors of AT&T to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in addition for Time Warner content. It has denied the role of political influence in blocking AT&T for making the acquisition and said the deal would hamper the advent of new online television options.
However, AT&T has contradicted the department’s claim that the deal would lead to higher charges and said it was willing to negotiate. David McAtee, AT&T’s general counsel, has said the company is confident that the court would permit the deal under longstanding legal precedent.