Justice Department appeals approval of AT&T-Time Warner merger

Justice Department appeals approval of AT&T-Time Warner merger

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. When that wrapped up in the beginning of May, the DOJ proposed solutions to ensure the merger wouldn't fall afoul of anti-competitive law: Either get rid of DirecTV or Turner (which contains TNT, TBS and CNN).

Judge Richard Leon ruled in AT&T's favor in June, saying in a blistering verdict that the Department of Justice did not sufficiently meet its burden of proving that the deal would allow AT&T to harm rival TV providers.

David McAtee, AT&T's general counsel, said the company would be defending the initial decision and admitted being surprised by the DoJ's decision to appeal.

The US government has chose to appeal against a landmark court ruling that cleared the way for telecoms giant AT&T to buy Time Warner.

AT&T shares fell one per cent after the bell.

France's road to the 2018 World Cup final
Antoine Griezmann celebrates at the end of the semifinal match between France and Belgium at the 2018 soccer World Cup . He said: 'It's just an anti-football team. "You can't win a World Cup on just talent".

Critics of the deal have argued the court approval offers an effective green light to other major deals that could end up boosting prices and hurting consumers.

In addition, AT&T Communications will have no say in setting Turner's prices or other terms in contracts with companies that distribute its content. The company said the increase was meant to bring rates in line with the market. A spokesman for the Antitrust Division said that they had no comment.

The appeal could be seen as a warning sign for companies that have pursued their own mergers in the wake of Leon's decision, Kimmelman added. The deadline for closing the merger was June 21. In recent years, Verizon purchased AOL and then Yahoo in an effort to create an online advertising business.

The merger was swiftly consummated, just two days after Leon's June 12 ruling and nearly as soon as the Justice Department signaled it wouldn't seek to temporarily block the merger while it pondered an appeal.

The last time the Justice Department challenged a completed deal was in 2017, when the agency sued to undo a merger in the aviation fuel filtration industry.

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