Creating 'Massive Media-Telecom Behemoth,' Judge Approves AT&T-Time Warner Merger

Creating 'Massive Media-Telecom Behemoth,' Judge Approves AT&T-Time Warner Merger

The Justice Department claimed that AT&T's acquisition of Time Warner would give the No. 1 pay-TV provider increased bargaining leverage over rivals like Dish Network Corp. that pay for Time Warner programming.

An array of public interest and labor groups - many of them far from supporters of Trump - nevertheless supported the Justice Department's attempt to block the deal.

A federal judge has cleared AT&T's planned acquisition of Time Warner, the entertainment company that owns HBO, Turner and Warner Bros.

Among them is T-Mobile US, which is waiting for a government decision on their proposed merger with Sprint Corp. Instead, a rush to consolidate is likely.

A federal judge on Tuesday approved an $85 billion merger between AT&T and Time Warner, ruling against the Trump administration, which had sought to upend the deal.

Judge Richard Leon scheduled a hearing for 4:00 pm (1900 GMT) to announce his decision, which may come around the same time as a written opinion following a seven-week bench trial.

"Allowing this merger to proceed raises serious concerns for consumers and the future of American media, and also sends a troubling signal to others that it's open season for vertical mergers that could allow a company to raise the cost of essential products and services that its rivals need to compete, leading to higher costs for consumers and less innovation", she said in a statement.

The judge in a scathing opinion urged the United States government not to seek a stay of his ruling, saying it would be "manifestly unjust" to do so and not likely to succeed. Major cable, satellite and phone companies are bulking up with purchases of entertainment conglomerates to compete against rivals born on the internet, like Amazon and Google.

"This decision could make it extremely hard for the antitrust agencies to fulfill their congressionally mandated duty to promote competition and prevent mergers that may substantially lessen competition", Mr. Nadler said.

After almost two years, AT&T is on the cusp of completing its acquisition of Time Warner, a deal it struck in a bid to become an entertainment giant that can feed Time Warner programming like HBO and CNN to its 119 million mobile, internet and video customers, and go head-to-head with Netflix Inc. and Amazon.com Inc.

Fortnite now available for Nintendo Switch, and it's completely free
The inverse is also happening, limiting accounts that are first used on Switch from playing on PS4. Curiously, this doesn't happen when using an Epic account from Xbox One or PC.

Michael Owen has predicted the victor of the 2018 World Cup
Egypt are banking on the availability of Salah as they try to get past the first stage of a World Cup for the first time. Brazil play their opening game at the tournament on Sunday, when they take on Switzerland in Rostov-on-Don.

Square Enix’s E3 showcase was a bust
What was Just Cause 4 doing here? Of course, we can expect another look atShadow of the Tomb Raider and Just Cause 4 . Final Fantasy XIV and Monster Hunter: World are joining up to make two groups of nerds incredibly happy.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

AT&T will complete its merger with Time Warner by June 20, The Associated Press reported.

In a blunt statement after the ruling was issued, Time Warner pointed the finger at President Trump, implying that he influenced the DOJ's decision to bring the case. He expressed confidence that regulators will see consumer value in the deal and approve the acquisition.

During the trial, they urged the court to block the deal or require the sale of certain businesses as a condition of approval.

Or Leon could reject the merger outright, accepting the government's contention that it would hurt pay-TV consumers and competition in the industry. "I think we'll see now that companies will be much more confident about vertical mergers", he added, referring to deals where a company merges with a supplier.

The mega-merger is a high-stakes bet by AT&T Inc. on the synergy between companies that produce news and entertainment and those that funnel it to consumers - who spend more time watching video on phones and tablets and less time on traditional live TV on a big screen.

Using unusually strong language, he discouraged the Justice Department from asking him to put the ruling on hold while it considers an appeal.

Leon's ruling could shape the government's future competition policy.

Number three wireless carrier T-Mobile, meanwhile, is seeking a tie-up with number four Sprint. The companies' CEOs, AT&T's Randall Stephenson and Jeffrey Bewkes of Time Warner Inc., testified in support of the deal. Post-merger, AT&T rivals like Charter Communications and Cox, which now pay Time Warner for its channels, would suddenly also become AT&T's customers.

The government argued that AT&T would gain outsize market power, jacking up the prices it charges cable providers to carry networks in the Time Warner stable.

Related news:

Hot News

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Trump Says Kim Jong Un Agreed To Destroy 'Major' Missile Testing Site
Jun 13, 2018 - 16:37
In Seoul, South Korean President Moon Jae-in watched live on television, telling his ministers, he "could hardly sleep last night".

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top The REAL reason Antoine Griezmann deal hasn't been announced
Jun 13, 2018 - 16:14
Griezmann insists he is made a decision on his club future but has refused to reveal if he will remain with Atletico next season. Both Barcelona and Manchester United have expressed interest in the forward, who has a release clause of €200m.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top ‘I took bullets’: Weepy Dennis Rodman claims credit for Trump-Kim summit
Jun 13, 2018 - 15:58
Rodman didn't explain the conditions in detail, only mentioning that moving "ships" back from South Korea was part of them. It's always hard to handle that situation but, like I said, love is love'. "All I know is that Kim Jong-un is unreliable".

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Justify’s win in Belmont Stakes wraps up US Triple Crown
Jun 13, 2018 - 15:55
Should he win, he will be only the second undefeated horse to complete the triple crown, joining Seattle Slew (1977). Chris Mara has won two Super Bowl championships with the Giants and now he is a Triple Crown champion, too.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Tuesday Primary to decide Senate, congressional candidates
Jun 13, 2018 - 15:50
Trump has appeared with Heitkamp, and she was the only Democrat invited to the White House for the signing of the banking law. State Senator and attorney Jennifer Wexton-the only candidate who has held office-said she'll be able to get the votes.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Raccoon reaches roof of Minnesota office building as crowds watch
Jun 13, 2018 - 15:28
As the U.S. slept, a small raccoon who first captured the attention of Minnesota, and then the world, did something remarkable. Nearby Minnesota Public Radio branded the raccoon with the hashtag #MPRraccoon , and it was soon trending on Twitter.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Why Angelina Jolie Could Lose Custody of Her Kids to Brad Pitt
Jun 13, 2018 - 15:17
It was also revealed that Jolie reads through her children's text messages and the judge has asked her to end that odd habit. Later in the month, from 8 to 14 July, Brad will be allowed to spend four consecutive days with the kids.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top E3 2018: Ghost of Tsushima is a samurai slasher for Sony's PS4
Jun 13, 2018 - 15:11
As seen in this video, Spider-Man is working with Yuriko Watanabe, an NYPD captain who became the Wraith in the Marvel Universe. At E3 this year, along with titles like Death Stranding and The Last Of Us 2 , Sony gave us another glimpse of the game.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Navarro Voices Regret for Harsh Words About Canadian Leader
Jun 13, 2018 - 14:48
Trump addressed the feud following his meetings with Kim in Singapore at a more than hour-long press conference. The Trump-Trudeau scuffle represents a pivot away from the once-friendly relationship between the two leaders.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Government wins Brexit bill vote after concessions
Jun 13, 2018 - 14:45
Its Lords were instrumental in bringing about some of the amendments that have been sent back to the Commons. The amendment could effectively hand control of the Brexit process to parliament if it goes ahead.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Kim invites Trump to visit Pyongyang as North hails 'radical switchover'
Jun 13, 2018 - 14:38
Graphologist Koo Bon-jin said Mr Kim's signature suggested an ambitious man who is "intuitive, rather than rational and logical". It added that North Korea and the United States should take legal, institutional steps to guarantee it.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top The Elder Scrolls Blades Announced For Phones
Jun 13, 2018 - 14:13
Prey is a game that launched to stellar reviews but may not have seen the amount of support one would expect of a big game. Survival is the game's central aspect, and every human you meet in this game will be an actual human being in real life.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top A theme of tolerance, inclusion at this year's Tony Awards
Jun 12, 2018 - 04:11
And I just want to say how proud I am to be a part of a community that celebrates diversity and individuality. Members of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School sang "Seasons of Love" from the musical " Rent ".

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top ‘Profound talks’: North Korean media hail Kim-Trump summit
Jun 12, 2018 - 02:32
The White House said the daylong summit would also include a working lunch and a larger meeting involving aides to both leaders. It will take place after some tension, when the nations exchanged insults, and Trump famously called Kim " little rocket man ".

One hot party: First Boring Co. flamethrowers get picked up
Jun 12, 2018 - 02:31
The Boring Company is a tunnel construction business founded in 2016 to provide the infrastructure for an underground Hyperloop. The funds made through these "hot" sales would be, in turn, used to fund other ventures of The Boring Company.