Economist: AT&T-TW Could Cost Americans

The Justice Department’s antitrust case against AT&T reached a crescendo Wednesday as government lawyers asked an economist to explain how the telecom giant’s proposed $85 billion merger with Time Warner would lead to higher cable bills for consumers.

AT&T Trial Turns To Comcast-NBCU Merger

Justice Department Antitrust Chief Makan Delrahim appeared in the courtroom Thursday to watch the proceedings in the government’s lawsuit to stop AT&T’s bid to purchase Time Warner as attorneys honed in on another merger: Comcast and NBCUniversal.

Six Key Takeaways From The AT&T Trial

A little less than two weeks and eight witnesses into the trial over AT&T’s proposed $85 billion purchase of Time Warner, and we already have a good sense of some of the issues the case — which some are calling the antitrust trial of a generation — will likely pivot around.

DOJ Cites TW Clout In Fighting AT&T Deal

The Justice Department, seeking to stop AT&T Inc’s deal to purchase Time Warner Inc, sought on Monday to show how often Time Warner subsidiary Turner would threaten to cut off cable companies to win concessions during contract negotiations.

AT&T, DOJ Launch Opening Shots In Trial

The government and AT&T clashed on Thursday as each launched their opening salvos in a far-reaching trial on the telecom giant’s proposed $85 billion merger with Time Warner.

NEWS ANALYSIS

ATT-TW Case Holds Future Of TV In Balance

Fans will be glued to the “March Madness” college basketball tournament as the joint owner of rights for the games, Time Warner Inc, goes before a judge today to defend a proposed takeover by AT&T Inc. With some 12 million viewers per game last year, the NCAA tournament exemplifies the marquee programming the U.S. government argues will become more expensive if Time Warner is bought by AT&T, the biggest pay-TV provider via subsidiary DirecTV.

Opening Arguments Thursday In AT&T Case

AT&T says it needs to buy Time Warner to compete with the likes of Amazon, Netflix and Google in the rapidly evolving world of video entertainment. The Justice Department’s antitrust lawyers worry that consumers will end up paying more to watch their favorite shows, whether on a TV screen, smartphone or tablet.

AT&T Spars With Govt. Over Trial Evidence

D.C. Federal District Judge Richard Leon oversees the first day of “trial” concerning AT&T’s proposed $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner.

Justice, AT&T-TW Suit Gets Underway Today

The talk in media circles is focused on what happens if the AT&T deal is stopped by the government and Time Warner is forced to go it alone.

AT&T, DOJ To Collide Mon. Over Time Warner

In a standoff with far-reaching implications, the government claims that the megamerger would give AT&T, which already owns the nation’s largest pay-TV provider, DirecTV, added clout to bully others, freeze out new entrants in the TV industry and increase rates for consumers. The dispute — a rare standoff in an antitrust case — will be decided by a federal judge after a trial that begins Monday in Washington, barring a last-minute settlement.

AT&T, Justice On Collision Course Over TW

Two titans — the U.S. Justice Department and telecommunications giant AT&T Inc. — are locked in a high-stakes showdown to decide who controls some of the nation’s most popular television channels.

AT&T: TW Merger Will Boost Mobile Video

“AT&T is merging with Time Warner not to thwart online viewing, but to advance it, by enabling AT&T to introduce new video products better suited to mobile viewing,” the company writes in papers submitted to a federal judge in New York.

Review Sought In AT&T-Time Warner Suit

The Wall Streer Journal reports a group of 11 former Department of Justice officials has asked a judge to revisit questions about whether the White House interfered in the government’s lawsuit challenging AT&T Inc.’s proposed acquisition of Time Warner Inc. Journal subscribers can read the full story here.

DOJ: Trump Didn’t Bias AT&T-TW Merger

The Department of Justice on Friday moved to prevent AT&T from arguing that politics played a role in the government’s decision to stop its merger with Time Warner Inc, a deal that President Donald Trump had publicly criticized. “There was no selective enforcement,” Justice Department lawyer Craig Conrath said at a pre-trial hearing. “The president is unhappy with CNN. We don’t dispute that. But AT&T wants to turn that into a get-out-jail-free card for their illegal merger.”

AT&T Demands Trump Merger Talk Records

AT&T is demanding that the Justice Department hand over additional evidence to prove that President Trump did not wield political influence over the agency as its antitrust enforcers reviewed the company’s bid to acquire Time Warner.

AT&T Wants Antitrust Official On Witness List

The company is requesting that Makan Delrahim testify in the trial over the government’s decision to block its $85 billion merger with Time Warner, according to two people with knowledge of the pretrial activity.

Sinclair-Tribune Shifts DOJ Decision Deadline

Sinclair Broadcast Group has extended the deadline for the Justice Department’s decision regarding its proposed $3.9 billion acquisition of Tribune Media. In an SEC filing, Sinclair and Tribune said they had agreed to not consummate the merger before Jan. 30, but now that deadline has been moved to Feb. 11. Tribune and Sinclair also agreed to provide 10 days notice to the DOJ before closing the merger.

Sinclair Inches Closer To Merger With Tribune

The U.S. Department of Justice is very close to blessing the merger of Sinclair Broadcast Group and Tribune Media as regulators appear to be satisfied with a plan that would have the pair divest of some of their TV stations. The $3.9 billion deal, once blessed by the DOJ, would still need the FCC’s approval.

Comcast-NBC Merger Conditions Expire

Major conditions imposed by regulators as part of Comcast’s merger with NBCUniversal expired Saturday, renewing debate over AT&T’s takeover of Time Warner that the Justice Department is trying to block.

 

DOJ May Target Comcast-NBCU Merger Next

While President Trump’s Department of Justice sues to block AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner, it’s also eyeing a clampdown on Comcast. Federal law enforcement is weighing an extension of a six-year-old probationary period over Comcast’s merger with NBCUniversal, concerned that the Philadelphia-based cable giant has been playing fast and loose with competition rules, sources say.

AT&T, TW Agree To Extend Merger Deadline

AT&T and Time Warner have agreed to extend the deadline for their long-delayed merger until June 21, according to an SEC filing Thursday. The extension should allow time for a verdict in the Department of Justice’s lawsuit seeking to block the deal. The trial will begin in March. June 21 is the date when both parties can officially abandon the deal.

AT&T-TW Judge Denies Data Protection Order

The judge overseeing the Justice Department’s bid to stop AT&T from buying Time Warner said Thursday that he would deny a request to tighten protections on confidential data.

Disney Backs Fox Data Protection Request

Walt Disney Co joined 21st Century Fox on Wednesday in asking the judge hearing AT&T Inc’s antitrust case to strengthen an order aimed at keeping its data private if it is used at trial next year.

DOJ Loses Music Licensing Appeal

A U.S. federal appeals court on Tuesday ruled that music licensing giant BMI did not have to abide by the Obama administration’s more restrictive interpretation of how royalties should be collected. The decision dealt a setback to the Justice Department’s effort to require BMI and ASCAP, to license music to digital streaming services, radio and television stations, bars and other music users only if they could issue a “full-work” license.

AT&T-DOJ Settlement Talks Over TW Fail

AT&T and the U.S. Department of Justice have been unable to resolve antitrust concerns over the pending Time Warner acquisition outside of court, according to a document filed Friday.

Sinclair-Tribune Likely To Win DOJ Approval

The Wall Street Journal reports that the Justice Department has signaled it is willing to approve Sinclair Broadcast Group’s planned takeover of Tribune Media. but with a condition: It wants the companies to sell off roughly a dozen television stations. DOJ told the companies the deal as currently structured raises antitrust problems and that 12 to 13 station sales are necessary to alleviate concerns about competition in markets where a combined Sinclair-Tribune would otherwise have a commanding presence. Journal subscribers can read the full story here.

Senator Wants DOJ To Look At Comcast-NBC

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) is calling on the Justice Department to investigate whether the 2011 Comcast-NBC merger has hurt market competition. Blumenthal sent a letter to the Trump administration’s top antitrust prosecutor, Makan Delrahim, on Wednesday, asking him to revisit the deal and to try to keep in place behavioral conditions that are set to expire next year.

AT&T-TW Antitrust Trial Set For March

Splitting the difference between AT&T’s request for a trial date in February and the government’s interest in beginning as late as May, the judge in the closely watched antitrust battle said the trial will begin March 19.

Sinclair Set To OK Antitrust Deal For Tribune

Sinclair Broadcast Group is close to accepting a remedy proposed by the Department of Justice to allow its $6.6 billion buyout of Tribune Media to gain regulatory approval. The feds want Sinclair, whose 193 TV stations spread over 89 markets makes it the largest TV station owner in the country, to sell 13 Tribune stations, sources say.

DOJ’s AT&T Suit Could Freeze Media Deals

At a time of rapid change and consolidation in the media industry, the Justice Department’s lawsuit over the AT&T-Time Warner combination is likely to put a pause on media deals and raise questions about this DOJ’s antitrust standards.

Trump Doesn’t Like AT&T-TW Merger

A day after his Justice Department sued to stop AT&T’s purchase of Time Warner, President Trump weighed in on the potential impact of the deal on the country. He said he’s not going to get involved in active litigation, but then added: “Personally, I’ve always felt that that was a deal that’s not good for the country. I think your pricing is going to go up. I don’t think it’s a good deal for the country. But I’m not going to get involved. It’s litigation.”

Ex-FCC Chair: Move Against AT&T Is ‘Chilling’

Former FCC Chairman Julius Genakowski, now a partner with The Carlyle Group, is troubled by the Department of Justice’s efforts to block AT&T from buying Time Warner. He says that yesterday’s lawsuit creates “unprecedented uncertainty for media companies” and that AT&T may be coerced into a divestiture that would be “unfair and potentially chilling.”

DOJ Suing AT&T To Block $85B TW Bid

The Department of Justice is suing to block AT&T’s $85 billion bid for entertainment conglomerate Time Warner, setting the stage for one of the biggest antitrust cases to hit Washington in decades.

AT&T, DOJ Agree To Extended TW Review

AT&T says it hired media lawyer Daniel Petrocelli, whose clients have included President Donald Trump, to defend its acquisition of media and entertainment company Time Warner if the government sues to block the deal.

AT&T CFO On TW: The Deal Will Close

AT&T remains in discussions with the Justice Department about the telecom giant’s planned $85.4 billion acquisition of Time Warner and is still confident it will be able to seal the deal, AT&T CFO John Stephens said at a Morgan Stanley investor conference in Barcelona on Thursday.

States Reluctant To Join DOJ AT&T-TW Suit

AT&T is bracing for an antitrust lawsuit from the Justice Department that would attempt to block its pending acquisition of Time Warner, CNN’s parent company, on the grounds that it would harm consumers. But the DOJ is having trouble finding allies among state attorneys general.

RTDNA Concerned About Sessions, Sources

The RTDNA Voice of the First Amendment Task Force is expressing extreme concern about Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ refusal — again — to say his Department of Justice will not target journalists who protect the identities of their confidential sources.

TW Shares Drop As Wall Street Worries

A swoon has left Time Warner with a market cap of $68.1 billion, well below the $85.4 billion AT&T agreed to pay for the media-entertainment conglomerate.

Sessions Questions Reporting on AT&T—TW

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, testifying today at a House Judiciary Committee oversight hearing, pushed back on recent reports suggesting the politicization of the government’s review of the AT&T and Time Warner merger. Last week, it was widely reported that the Department of Justice asked AT&T to divest Turner as a condition of winning approval, possibly owing to Donald Trump’s distaste for CNN.

How AT&T Misplayed Trump’s Team

After almost a year of review,  everybody seems suddenly gobsmacked that the Justice Department had serious reservations about  the $85 billion Time Warner merger.