Justice Department will appeal $85 billion AT&T, Time Warner merger

Justice Department will appeal $85 billion AT&T, Time Warner merger

Justice Department will appeal $85 billion AT&T, Time Warner merger

Were he to grant a stay during the appeals process, the merger would not have been completed before the June 21 "break-up date" for the deal. The potential ramifications here are huge and involve several entities, not to mention the precedent it could set.

The US Justice Department says it will appeal a federal judge's approval of AT&T Inc's $US85.4 billion ($A114 billion) acquisition of Time Warner, raising the prospect barely a month after the deal closed that it could be undone.

The appeal will be heard by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.

AT&T's $85 billion purchase of Time Warner is once again facing a regulatory battle with the US Department of Justice. It's possible the court could place the case on a fast track because the longer an appeals process takes, the more integrated the two companies will become.

Since the decision, AT&T has raised prices on its DirecTV Now service - by $5 monthly across its various tiers - and some of its unlimited wireless plans. This decision to appeal could have been made at the highest levels of the Trump administration.

President Trump has also said he opposes the merger; he claims it would concentrate too much power into the hands of one company.

A Justice Department win at the appeals level would undo a stinging rebuke for the government and vindicate the decision by the head of the antitrust division, Makan Delrahim, to challenge the Time Warner takeover.

On Thursday, the DOJ filed a notice to appeal that ruling.

AT&T is a phone, cable and satellite company, and the biggest pay TV provider in the U.S. - claiming about 25 million of the approximately 90 million U.S. households that are pay TV customers.

Instead, he accepted the position of AT&T and Time Warner execs: that content creation needed to be increasingly married with distribution for media companies to survive in a world dominated by tech giants.

For instance, it will manage the Turner networks as part of a separate business unit, distinct from operations of AT&T Communications. Prosecutors argued that AT&T could inflate the price of HBO for other content distributors.

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