The Justice Department Just Sued AT&T To Block Its $85.4 Billion Takeover Of Time Warner

The US Justice Department sued AT&T on Monday to block its proposed $85.4 billion takeover of CNN parent company Time Warner in a landmark antitrust move of which prevents the entire world’s largest telecommunications provider by merging with the entire world’s third-largest entertainment firm.

AT&T had been waiting for Justice Department approval for the deal, though recent negotiations had clearly faltered, resulting in Monday’s lawsuit. Earlier within the day, the Justice Department said of which would certainly make a significant antitrust announcement, nevertheless did not say what of which would certainly be about.

The proposed acquisition of Time Warner, which owns HBO, CNN, along with Warner Bros., has drawn the scrutiny of the Justice Department along with fueled allegations of which the Trump administration may be more interested in forcing the sale of CNN than protecting consumers by antitrust concerns. Previously, multiple outlets reported of which the government had asked AT&T to sell either Turner Broadcasting, which owns CNN, or satellite television provide DirecTV in order to proceed with the takeover.

“of which merger would certainly greatly harm American consumers. of which would certainly mean higher monthly television bills along with fewer of the completely new, emerging innovative options of which consumers are beginning to enjoy,” said Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim in a statement. He added of which the combination of AT&T or DirecTV with Time Warner would certainly be “unlawful.”

Monday’s lawsuit was filed in a US district court in Washington, DC.

“Today’s DOJ lawsuit is usually a radical along with inexplicable departure by decades of antitrust precedent,” said AT&T general counsel David McAtee II in a statement. “Vertical mergers like of which one are routinely approved because they benefit customers without removing any competitor by the market.”

President Donald Trump has regularly disparaged the 24-hour cable news channel, calling of which “fake news.”

“As an example of the power structure I’m fighting, AT&T is usually buying Time Warner along with therefore CNN, a deal we will not approve in my administration because of which’s too much concentration of power within the hands of too few,” Trump said at a campaign speech in Oct. 2016. In July, the president tweeted a doctored video showing him wrestling a person, edited to represent CNN, to the ground on July 2, 2017, writing “#FraudNewsCNN #FNN.”

For his part, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson has previously said of which he didn’t think CNN would certainly be an impediment to the deal’s closure. He previously met with the president at a White House event in June, where he was complimented by Trump for “doing a actually top job.”

“I don’t know what the relevance is usually of CNN to an antitrust review,” Stephenson said in October at Vanity Fair’s completely new Establishment Summit in Los Angeles.

of which was widely reported of which Justice Department officials told AT&T executives they had to sell Turner Broadcasting, which owns CNN, or sell DirecTV, a satellite television provider of which AT&T bought for $48.5 billion in 2014, in order for the deal to go through.

“Fortunately, the Department of Justice doesn’t possess the final say in of which matter,” said McAtee II. “Rather, of which bears the burden of proving to the U.S. District Court of which the transaction violates the law.”

of which is usually a developing story. Check back for updates along with follow BuzzFeed News on Twitter.

Ryan Mac is usually a senior technology reporter for BuzzFeed News along with is usually based in San Francisco. He reports on the intersection of money, technology along with power.

Contact Ryan Mac at ryan.mac@buzzfeed.com.

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