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Judge Says AT&T Can Buy Time Warner

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Jun 12, 2018, 3:52 PM   by Eric M. Zeman   @zeman_e

AT&T today was given permission to buy Time Warmer with no conditions and no divestitures. The ruling was handed down by U.S. District Judge Richard Leon. The ruling settles the lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Justice, which has opposed the deal from the start. The Justice Department believes AT&T will use Time Warner's content as a weapon against consumers, raising prices and limiting competition. AT&T says it needs to acquire Time Warner in order to compete with Verizon Communications. The government will not require AT&T to meet any special conditions to finalize the merger, nor sell any properties. In a last-minute twist, Justice Department attorney Craig Conrath asked the judge to take some protective measures, such as concessions, should he allow the deal to proceed. It appears as though Leon did not feel this tactic was warranted. The deal is valued at $85.4 billion. Time Warner owns HBO and CNN.

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