Office of Justice Raises Pointed New Inquiries in AT&T-Time Warner Merger

In June, following a grueling six-7 days trial, a federal court accepted AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner for roughly $85 billion in dollars and stocks. At the time, critics cautionedthat the ruling could set off a wave of mergers that punish people and consolidate wealth amid the company course. In a brief submitted Monday, the Justice Division went a single step further more, saying the demo decide disregarded “[the] elementary principles of economics and widespread sense.”

“U.S. District Choose Richard J. Leon had dominated for the companies, indicating the authorities didn’t come shut to proving its statements that the offer would generate bigger charges and much less opposition in the pay out-Tv market,” writes The Wall Street Journal’s Brent Kendall. “But the Justice Division … reported the judge ignored the actuality that businesses will do what they can to improve earnings and in its place acknowledged without having reservation the testimony of defendants’ executives.”

All through the demo, the federal government argued that the acquisition amounted to a media monopoly, with AT&T dominating not only the distribution of compensated-Tv set providers but its leading information as nicely. (Time Warner owns both of those HBO and the Turner networks, two of cable television’s crown jewels). AT&T and Time Warner countered that their corporations complimented one a further, and that it was incumbent on them to merge in a industry in which much more and additional viewers are reducing the chord.

In a 172-site conclusion, Leon dominated in the multinational’s favor. But as the Journal stories, transcripts from the trial comprise numerous “unusual times.” They include things like: “Judge Leon’s increasing evident concern about the Justice Department’s use of younger lawyers, and an AT&T law firm talking about a contribution toward a fund for the unveiling of a painting commemorating the decide.”

The Journal also implies that Leon went out of his way to shield AT&T main govt Randall Stephenson from the Justice Department’s lawful workforce, upbraiding one particular lawyer for trying to dilemma him about an look on CNBC in 2016. “Don’t pull that variety of crap yet again in this courtroom,” the judge reportedly warned.

A previous attorney for the Immigration and Naturalization Services, Leon was appointed to the United States District Courtroom for the District of Columbia by then-president George W. Bush in 2001.

AT&T was defiant amid information of the Justice Department’s filing. “After a lengthy trial, Choose Leon weighed the evidence and rendered a extensive … choice that systematically exposed every single of the a lot of holes in the government’s scenario,” its common counsel, David McAtee, mentioned in a assertion. “There is nothing in DOJ’s brief currently that should disturb that final decision.”

Read the total report at The Wall Road Journal.

Jacob Sugarman

Jacob Sugarman is a contributing editor at Truthdig. He is a graduate of the Arthur L. Carter Institute of Journalism whose creating has appeared in Salon, AlterNet and Tablet, amongst other…

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Office of Justice Raises Pointed New Inquiries in AT&T-Time Warner Merger

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