×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

DOJ Won’t Seek to Halt AT&T-Time Warner Merger Pending Any Appeal

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department won’t seek to halt AT&T-Time Warner’s plans to merge pending an appeal, meaning that the companies can complete their combination.

The government is said to still be considering whether to appeal the case, but it declined to exercise an option to try to stay the transaction in the meantime. The DOJ had until Monday to decide whether to do so.

U.S. District Judge Richard Leon ruled in favor of AT&T on Tuesday, concluding that the Justice Department had not proved its case that the merger would substantially lessen competition or hurt consumers.

Makan Delrahim, the chief of the Justice Department’s antitrust division, on Wednesday said that “we have put on a case to the best of our ability. Courts speak. There is an appellate process that the Constitution … provides to correct any error.” He added that “we respect that dispute resolution system and move on.”

In a letter to the Justice Department on Thursday, Daniel Petrocelli, lead counsel for the companies, gave a list of a series of representations as to how AT&T plans to operate the Turner networks until Feb. 28, 2019, or until an appeal  or the conclusion of the case.

In that time frame, AT&T said that it would manage Turner as a separate business unit from AT&T Communications, which includes DirecTV and U-verse; that AT&T Communications would have no role in setting Turner’s prices for rival distributors; the number of Turner employees and compensation levels would remain “largely unchanged”; and AT&T would implement a “firewall” between Turner and AT&T Communications to prevent exchange of competitive information of rival programmers and distributors.

The Turner networks, which include CNN, TBS and TNT, were at the heart of the DOJ’s case. They claimed that the increased leverage of the combined company would enable it to extract higher fees from AT&T’s distribution rivals for those channels. Ultimately, according to the DOJ, consumers would face higher prices.

Leon found the DOJ’s evidence unconvincing. He also urged the government not to seek a stay if the purpose was to halt the merger, and made it clear that he was highly unlikely to grant one.

 

More Biz

  • Paradigm Names Marty Diamond Head of

    Paradigm Names Marty Diamond Head of Global Music

    Paradigm Talent Agency has named Marty Diamond the Head of Global Music, leading the agency’s representation artists worldwide, the company announced today. His personal client roster includes Ed Sheeran, Coldplay, Janelle Monáe, Sigur Rós, Sara Bareilles, Liam Gallagher, Sia, Lorde, Alessia Cara, Bastille, Snow Patrol, Jess Glynne and Vance Joy. Diamond will head Paradigm’s music [...]

  • View Conference Opens Registration for 2019

    2019 View Conference Opens Registration, Calls for Short Film Competition Entries

    Registration is now open for the 2019 edition of the View Conference in Turin, Italy. No speakers have been announced yet, but past conferences have featured some of the world’s top creative talents in visual effects, animation, gaming, virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality. Last year’s edition featured composer Hans Zimmer, Paramount Animation topper [...]

  • Kamala Harris Democratic candidate for US

    UCLA, Howard University Partner on Internship Program to Foster Diversity in Hollywood

    Increased focus on college students may be one way to pave a more diverse future in Hollywood. A new program from the UCLA Anderson School for Management’s Summer Institute at the Center for MEMES (Media, Entertainment & Sports) in partnership with Howard University gives students the opportunity to learn the ropes of the entertainment industry [...]

  • Anne del Castillo Named NYC's Commissioner

    Anne del Castillo Named New York City's Commissioner of Media and Entertainment

    The film and TV industries in New York City have a new boss: Anne del Castillo, who has been tapped by Mayor Bill de Blasio to serve as commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment. Del Castillo had served as general counsel and chief operating officer of MOME since 2015. She succeeds Julie [...]

  • Warner/Chappell Music Names Ryan Press President

    Warner/Chappell Music Names Ryan Press President of A&R for the U.S.

    Warner/Chappell Music has announced the promotion of Ryan Press to president of A&R, U.S. Press, who joined the publisher in 2009, has worked closely with an array of acclaimed songwriters and producers, including Rihanna, Rae Sremmurd, DJ Khaled, Wiz Khalifa, Meek Mill, T-Minus, Tayla Parx, Gucci Mane, Mike Elizondo, Aloe Blacc, The-Dream, Priscilla Renea, Lil [...]

  • Sarah BarnettAMC - SundanceTV 'State of

    Listen: AMC Networks' Sarah Barnett on Finding TV's 'Holy Grail'

    Sarah Barnett’s new job at AMC Networks has her overseeing four cable channels and two streaming platforms. She’s spent the past few months since her promotion to president of entertainment networks adjusting operations, assembling the right team and diving deeper into AMC’s investment in audience research and analytic tools. But none of that work matters [...]

  • Jordan Feldstein

    Beanie Feldstein Writes Touching Tribute to Her Brother, Maroon 5 Manager Jordan

    Actress Beanie Feldstein has written a moving tribute to her late brother Jordan, longtime manager of Maroon 5, who passed away of a heart attack in December of 2017. “It is impossible. Grief is just impossible. It cannot be contained or summarized or enclosed,” the tribute, published in InStyle, begins. “To describe the wound grief [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content