Tuesday, 16 October, 2018

Court allows AT&T purchase of Time Warner

Courts To M&A Bankers “Everbody Gets Laid!” It’s official: AT&T can merge with Time Warner
Orlando Vargas | 13 June, 2018, 02:03

He called one of the government's positions "gossamer thin" and another "poppycock".

Trump's antitrust lawyers and regulators have not pursued a consistent line against increased consolidation; under newly elevated Chairman Ajit Pai, a Republican, the FCC has swept away many regulations limiting how many stations a single company can own.

Media executives increasingly say that content creation and distribution must be married to survive against rising technology companies like Amazon and Netflix. "We're obviously disappointed with the judge's decision". With no phones or computers allowed into the courtroom, and attendees required to stay until after the judge had left the courtroom, the public was left in the dark for almost 40 minutes Tuesday afternoon as they awaited the decision. But the overall landscape complicates the decision a great deal.

Waiting in the wings are potential big-billions deals involving 21st Century Fox and Disney, Verizon and CBS, T-Mobile and Sprint.

And, of course, the decision will have repercussions for Silicon Valley's digital Masters of the Universe. The merger will turn the legacy telecom into an owner of well-recognized TV and movie brands, in addition to distributing TV, internet and cellphone service to millions of customers. Google owns the Android wireless phone-operating system and dominates online advertising.

Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning said the decision was regrettable.

Announced in October 2016, the deal was quickly denounced by Donald Trump, who as a candidate and later as president has been critical of Time Warner's CNN and its coverage.

Rafael Nadal secures 11th French Open title
Nadal simply had too much power and consistency for Argentina's fifth seed Juan Martin del Potro in the match that followed. Truth is, there were not many the rest of the way, as Nadal finished with 35 winners and just 19 unforced errors .


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While many said that the picture sums up Trump's time at G-7, several others called it a "power dynamic". National Security Adviser John Bolton and other aides also look on what appears to be a tense moment.


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Leon said the government failed to prove that the merger would lead to higher prices and other ham to consumers. The merged companies could withhold programming from competitors, pressuring consumers to switch to AT&T services.

The AT&T-Time Warner antitrust trial finally has a ruling after the trial ended last month. The Department of Justice had sued AT&T to block the merger.

In making that ruling, Leon reaffirmed the judiciary's traditional tolerance for "vertical integration" - the technical term for mergers between companies that operate related, but distinct, businesses.

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. Specifically, on future deals of this type. If Facebook were to buy Netflix, would that a vertical merger between a social media company or a horizontal merger between two digital providers?

Presidential politics clouded the merger from nearly the moment it was announced. During the trial, AT&T made several efforts to introduce evidence about political interference into the case but was rebuffed by Judge Leon. If AT&T and Time Warner win, it will likely be full steam ahead. "It's illogical. It's why we did the deal".

On the campaign trail Trump argued that a combined AT&T/Time Warner was "too much concentration of power in the hands of too few".

In a complete rebuke of the Justice Department's arguments, Leon sided with AT&T and did not approve any conditions.

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