back to article AT&T insists it's not sweating US govt block of Time-Warner gobble

AT&T says it is not worried about the possibility of a US government lawsuit derailing its attempts to acquire Time-Warner. Shortly after news broke on Monday that Uncle Sam's Department of Justice was filing suit in Washington DC to block the proposed $85bn merger, the American telecoms giant issued a statement saying it …

  1. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    Departure?

    I thought the precedent has been blocking AT&T acquisitions because everybody hates AT&T products.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Departure?

      Wishful thinking?

  2. Jack of Shadows Silver badge

    Comcast is now in the mobile space,no surprise that AT&T wants to be in the cable space.

    1. Hugh McIntyre

      AT&T is already in the high speed Internet space.

      The complaint is that if they gain ownership of HBO, Warner Brothers (movies/TV), and the Turner channels then they can then hold other TV competitors to ransom by demanding higher channel fees that get passed on to consumers. Also (in the complaint) that they could make it more difficult for TV-over-internet services like Sling to compete in future.

      The antitrust complaint actually has some merit, since allowing content companies to merge with traditional TV/cable providers just at the point that cord-cutting alternatives are becoming more common (thereby kneecapping the cord-cutting companies) seems like a bad bet for consumers.

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge
        Mushroom

        The complaint is that if they gain ownership of HBO, Warner Brothers (movies/TV), and the Turner channels then they can then hold other TV competitors to ransom by demanding higher channel fees that get passed on to consumers

        Disney has already announced it's going to do this with its catalogue and privilege Hulu over Netflix. Don't remember hearing the DoJ making any noises about that. Maybe it's because Disney lets the Trump fondle and fuck as many hostesses as he wants whenever he visits Disneyworld.

      2. DougS Silver badge

        Comcast owns NBC Universal, which consists of these among others: NBC network, NBC owned & operated local stations in markets that serve half the US population, Universal Pictures, Working Title Films, Dreamworks, NBC sports regional networks, NBCSN, Golf Channel, Syfy, E!, USA, Bravo, Oxygen, Weather Channel, Telemundo, NBC news, CNBC, MSNBC.

        If Comcast isn't screwing over other cable/satellite providers in carriage contracts for the above, why do they think AT&T will do that with Time Warner assets? I personally don't think Comcast should have been allowed to buy them for this reason, but republicans at the time were almost universally against any attempt to block the Comcast purchase of NBC Universal. Now suddenly they are against AT&T's purchase? Strange how none of them said anything until Trump claimed he would block the merger (a president meddling in the justice department for personal reasons is illegal, BTW, not that he or his supporters care)

        If the justice department wants to block AT&T's purchase of Time Warner on antitrust grounds, why have they not announced a lawsuit against Comcast to force them to divest NBC Universal? The two situations are almost identical! It would be blatantly unfair to allow the previous merger to stand, but not allow AT&T to buy Time Warner, or similar mergers like say if Dish Network wanted to buy ABC/Disney.

  3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Move along nothing to see

    That none of the states have joined the DoJ on the suit speaks volumes. A court case will simply delay things.

    America has a problem with cartels: ARPU on networks is much higher than in other comparable markets. Cheap debt and lax regulation are encouraging horizontal merges in lots of industries.

  4. handleoclast Silver badge

    CNN hurt Trump's feelings

    That's the only reason the DoJ are blocking the deal.

    1. druck Silver badge

      Re: CNN hurt Trump's feelings

      Maybe AT&T will jettison CNN in return for approval.

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: CNN hurt Trump's feelings

        Maybe AT&T will jettison CNN in return for approval.

        No need, they're almost certain to win and the case may get quietly side-lined once this becomes obvious. Sessions is going to have to step down anyway.

      2. DougS Silver badge

        Re: CNN hurt Trump's feelings

        AT&T's CEO already said he would not consider selling CNN as a condition of the merger. Trump just wants that because a standalone CNN would be easy pickings for one of his billionaire supporters to buy and turn into Fox News 2.0.

        Trump loves dictators like Putin because he envies them for having control of the media, the only way to silence the truth in the US would be to buy all the major media outlets and get them reporting Kellyann Conway's "alternative facts".

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