DOJ Sues to Halt AT&T/Time Warner Merger
The U.S. Department of Justice has sued to stop the proposed merger between AT&T and Time Warner. The DOJ argues the combined entity would lead to higher TV content prices for consumers. The DOJ also suggests the deal would hurt AT&T/Time's rivals, "forcing them to pay hundreds of millions of dollars more per year for Time Warner's networks." The government agency is open to a settlement with AT&T and Time Warner, but suggests that divestments would be required. AT&T already owns DirecTV, which offers content nationwide via its satellite TV business. AT&T took issue with the lawsuit, calling it "a radical and inexplicable departure from decades of antitrust precedent. Vertical mergers like this one are routinely approved because they benefit consumers without removing any competitor from the market. We see no legitimate reason for our merger to be treated differently." The company argues it is combining a content company with a delivery company, which should preclude it from antitrust regulation as neither is in direct competition with the other. "Fortunately, the Department of Justice doesn’t have the final say in this matter. Rather, it bears the burden of proving to the U.S. District Court that the transaction violates the law," concluded AT&T. AT&T first proposed the merger in October 2016.
Nov 7, 2019
T-Mobile today announced plans to offer three new programs offering 5G service for free to certain groups, or cheaply for everyone else. The company is promising to launch the programs when and if it is allowed to merge with Sprint.
May 1, 2018
The Justice Department, during closing arguments of its case against the AT&T-Time Warner merger, suddenly suggested the judge weigh "alternative" remedies should he choose not to block the deal. The Justice Department has fought against the merger from the start, saying AT&T would use Time Warner's content as a weapon against consumers, raising prices and limiting competition.
Jul 19, 2018
The Justice Department has asked the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to prioritize its appeal against last month's decision regarding AT&T's acquisition of Time Warner.
Jun 7, 2018
The U.S. Department of Justice is exploring what impact the proposed merger of Sprint and T-Mobile will have on smaller carriers and MVNOs.