As Jean-Claude Juncker famously admitted (probably right after one particular way too many bottles of Margaux), “when it gets significant you have to lie.”
And so it seems AT&T Chief Govt Officer Randall Stephenson may possibly have felt the very same way last 12 months amid the stress to get a offer accomplished with Time Warner.
In November 2017, as the battle escalated with antitrust officers around the $85.4 billion acquisition of Time Warner, Stephenson – amid monumental strain from uber-liberal executives demanding he stand up to Trump’s CNN ‘fake news’ attacks – was adamant that “throughout this procedure, I have hardly ever provided to market CNN and have no intention of performing so.”
At the time, Bloomberg claimed – and it was continuously rumored – that conversations of personal belongings, such as the division that contains CNN, had appear up in talks between the companies and Justice Section officers, in accordance to persons familiar with the make any difference.
These days, Oct 2018, all through a deposition in the government’s enchantment of the deal’s judicial acceptance, recounted the discussion he had with the government in Nov 2017:
In accordance to a transcript, he was questioned by a Justice Section lawyer about the meeting with Delrahim.
“And during that meeting, you lifted the topic of CNN?” the Justice Department attorney said.
“I did,” Stephenson stated.
“OK. And you were being the first one to elevate the topic of CNN?”
“Oh, yeah,” explained Stephenson, who went on to say, “I requested Mr. Delrahim, I imagine my language, this will be fairly near: ‘If I were being to stroll in right here tomorrow and notify you I experienced gotten my head all-around offering CNN, would that allow you to wave this deal via?’ And he claimed, unequivocally, ‘No.’”
Of course this is not lying or ‘fake’ news – it is choice information as Bloomberg reviews that this clash with Stephenson’s public statements at the time is a misunderstanding:
To the Justice Division, that was a proposal to market, the government claimed
Stephenson wasn’t providing to offer CNN in the assembly with Delrahim, in accordance to a particular person common with the situation. As a substitute, he was making an attempt to comprehend the Justice Department’s core dilemma with the proposed merger given that identical discounts experienced been resolved in the previous devoid of demanding asset profits, the human being explained.
Lastly, we note that Stephenson claimed in the deposition there ended up good reasons to marvel regardless of whether Trump’s animus toward CNN was driving the Justice Department’s opposition to the deal.