AT&T and Time Warner win legal battle, confirming the merger

Courts To M&A Bankers “Everbody Gets Laid!”

Courts To M&A Bankers “Everbody Gets Laid!”

AT&T's politically charged takeover of Time Warner was approved by a United States judge on Tuesday in a blow to the Trump administration which had fought hard to have the deal scrapped. Bush appointee, handed down his decision approving the $85 billion merger with no conditions on Tuesday afternoon, following months of oral arguments and deliberations.

Leon, in his remarks during the ruling, strongly urged the government not seek a stay that would hold up the close of the deal. The Justice Department could decide to appeal the ruling, however.

If AT&T is successful in its bid to buy Time Warner, it will nearly certainly find itself competing in a media market dominated by other large, integrated providers.

In after-market trading following the ruling, shares of Time Warner rose almost 5 percent and AT&T shares fell 1.6 percent.

Investors are welcoming a federal judge's approval of AT&T's $85 billion takeover of Time Warner. CNBC is reporting that Comcast will try to buy Twenty-First Century Fox if AT&T buys Time Warner. Looming in the background of the deal has been Trump's long-running feud with Time Warner's CNN, which he has often derided as "failing" and a purveyor of "fake news".

On November 20, 2017 the Justice Department sued to stop the deal, saying the merger would violate antitrust law because it would harm competition and consumers. The companies then entered into discussions with the DOJ a year ago and rumors surfaced that the agency had suggested some divestitures in order for AT&T to avoid an antitrust lawsuit.


"We are pleased that, after conducting a full and fair trial on the merits, the Court has categorically rejected the government's lawsuit to block our merger with Time Warner", McAtee said in a statement. The company will now work to complete the merger by June 20th. Instead, they argued the media industry is going through a massive change as fewer people subscribe to paid TV service and instead stream content via the internet.

Trump's frequent attacks on CNN led to much speculation, including from AT&T Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson, that the president's opposition stemmed from anger over the network's coverage rather than concern over greater corporate consolidation.

AT&T has said it needs to buy Time Warner to compete with the likes of Amazon, Netflix and Google in the shape-shifting streaming-TV environment. Announced in October 2016, it was seized on by then presidential candidate Donald Trump as the sort pf deal his administration would block.

"The judge's sweeping rejection of the government's case doesn't surprise us at all", AT&T attorney Daniel Petrocelli told reporters outside of the courthouse shortly after the decision was issued.

The mega-merger is a high-stakes bet by AT&T Inc. on the synergy between companies that produce news and entertainment and those that funnel it to consumers - who spend more time watching video on phones and tablets and less time on traditional live TV on a big screen.

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