AT&T-Time Warner Trial: Judge Warns Both Sides if Trial Goes Into May

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WASHINGTON — U.S. District Judge Richard Leon warned that if the AT&T-Time Warner antitrust trial goes into May, he may not be able to render an opinion by June 21.

That date is the deadline that AT&T and Time Warner set in December, after the trial date was set, to complete their combination.

Leon’s warning was that he cannot quickly turn around an opinion with the “level of detail and accuracy” expected from such a complex case. He said that it could run 250 pages.

His statement came at the end of a day of testimony from John Martin, the CEO of Turner Networks, and Marty Hinson, an executive at Cox Communications.

Leon asked that the lawyers on each side assess their list of witnesses and see if they are essential. He also asked that they limit repeating information that already has been presented.

He said that his “tolerance today is very high in redundancy, but it is going to become increasingly now.”

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Craig Conrath, the lead counsel for the Justice Department, said that their assessment is “there should be no risk of going into May.”

Scheduled to testify on Thursday are John Hauser, a professor of marketing at MIT, and Greg Rigdon, the executive VP of content acquisition for Comcast Cable.