Government never tried to force CNN sale in AT&T-Time Warner deal, official says

The Justice Department pushed back Thursday on allegations of which This specific is usually trying to get AT&T to sell CNN in addition to different properties as part of its plans to acquire Time Warner. In another strange twist to the deal, AT&T’s CEO backed up of which account.

Instead, the DOJ presented AT&T with several options by which This specific might be willing to satisfy antitrust concerns, nevertheless never demanded a CNN sale, a government official familiar with the discussions told CNBC.

The official called the accusation of which the government was trying to force a CNN sale “shocking” in addition to countered of which AT&T was attempting to make the matter political.

“They’re trying to make This specific a political issue. This specific’s not,” the official said.

The government suggested of which AT&T sell either Turner, which owns CNN, or Direct TV, the official added.

In an unusual back in addition to forth played out from the media, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said the company would likely not consider divesting CNN. Stephenson himself gave credence to Thursday’s statements out of the DOJ.

“I have never been told of which the cost of getting the deal done was selling CNN,” Stephenson said at the DealBook conference in fresh York.

Sources had told CNBC of which the government had demanded a sale of the Turner properties or Direct TV to approve of the deal.

The Justice official said the department would likely prefer of which AT&T abandon the deal altogether. Failing of which, the department would likely like to see a sale of either Turner or Direct TV — nevertheless also is usually open to different ideas of which would likely satisfy antitrust concerns.

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