USA judge clears AT&T merger with Time Warner

Comcast readying new bid for 20th Century Fox film and TV assets

Investors are welcoming a federal judge's approval of AT&T's $85 billion takeover of Time Warner.

"Allowing this merger to proceed raises serious concerns for consumers and the future of American media, and also sends a troubling signal to others that it's open season for vertical mergers that could allow a company to raise the cost of essential products and services that its rivals need to compete, leading to higher costs for consumers and less innovation", Klobuchar said.

He said during the trial that the merger with Time Warner is a "significant shift in strategy" for AT&T, explaining the company knew that smaller acquisitions for content wouldn't work.

The merger was approved without conditions and is seen as a turning point for a media industry that has been upended by companies like Netflix Inc and Google which produce content and sell it online directly to consumers, without requiring a pricey cable subscription. He also warned the USA government against bringing an appeal if the objective was to try to stymie the deal, though the DOJ has not indicated its next steps.

The US Department of Justice-the nation's antitrust authority-sued to block the deal late previous year, arguing that Time Warner's media brands like HBO, Warner Bros., and CNN would give AT&T outsized power, hurt competition, and lead to higher prices for consumers.

Now the judge overseeing the case has ruled that AT&T can merge with Time Warner.

Twenty-First Century Fox, which has garnered interest from Disney and Comcast, saw its shares climb 4.6 percent, to $42.25, in after-hours trading.

In after-market trading following the ruling, shares of Time Warner rose almost 5 percent and AT&T shares fell 1.6 percent. The DOJ moved to block the merger in March, arguing that the merger would reduce competition and hurt consumer choice.

Bitcoin prices continue to fall as yet another exchange reports a breach
Other large cryptocurrencies like Ethereum, ripple and bitcoin cash have all fallen more than 11 per cent over the past 24 hours. News reports said Coinrail , launched in September, was the seventh-largest exchange in South Korea by trading volume.

"We want people engaged with their mobile devices all day watching movies and video", Stephenson said in April during the trial.

Time Warner controls assets such as HBO, CNN and, most importantly, Warner Bros.

The government argued that AT&T would gain outsize market power, jacking up the prices it charges cable providers to carry networks in the Time Warner stable.

Waiting in the wings are potential big-billions deals involving 21st Century Fox and Disney, Verizon and CBS, T-Mobile and Sprint. In fact, CNNMoney reported that AT&T-Time Warner's counsel Daniel Petrocelli made the argument that traditional media orgs have already been left behind in the digital revolution.

The Time Warner deal is a crucial achievement for Stephenson, who views AT&T as competing with Google, Facebook, Netflix and other Silicon Valley giants.

Initially AT&T and Time Warner planned to use a "selective enforcement" defense, alleging that the administration was blocking the deal because of Trump's dislike of CNN. AT&T is known to most consumers as a telecom company, offering cable, internet and phone services, but this is just the latest in a line of mergers from such companies trying to break into the media landscape.

Leon described part of the government's case as "gossamer thin", saying that during the trial the Justice Department's expert witness declined to back some of the government's own theories.

Related News:



Most liked

Domino's Pizza offering to fill in potholes nominated by customers
The plan is to make deliveries smoother by making pothole repairs in towns nominated by their customers. The fixed pot holes are then stamped with a Domino's logo and the motivational slogan "Oh yes we did".

Andrew Garfield dedicates Tony Award to LGBT community
Listen to Newsbeat live at 12:45 and 17:45 every weekday on BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra - if you miss us you can listen back here. It is a spirit that says no to bigotry, no to shame, no to exclusion.

Two tweets and an insult spoil G-7 unity
Mr Trump's state visit in November will coincide with the 6th ASEAN-US Summit and 13th East Asia Summit. Navarro said Trump "did the courtesy to Justin Trudeau to travel up to Quebec for that summit".

Canadian leaders oppose Trump proposal to reinstate Russian Federation in G7
Many very important matters of global diplomacy were probably discussed at the Group of 7 summit meeting over the weekend. MarketWatch has pointed out that Trump has significantly overstated the USA trade deficit with the EU.

Trump And Kim Arrive In Singapore For Unprecedented Summit
For more on the meeting in Singapore , we cross to Oliver Miocic in Seoul. Al Jazeera's Adrian Brown reports from Singapore .

Grandmother drove with 2 children locked in dog kennels, police say
Temperatures climbed well into the 90's in Memphis on Saturday and the children, aged 7 and 8, said the kennels grew quite hot. They said their grandmother told them to sit in the kennels because there was no room in the trunk.

Kylie Jenner Deletes All Photos Of Stormi's Face From Instagram
Kylie Jenner has made another disappearing act on social media - but this time it's her daughter Stormi Webster who has vanished. We can tell because she actually went back and deleted any photo where you can clearly see the infant's face.

Your internet use could change as 'net neutrality' ends
The Federal Communications Commission's order to roll back President Obama-era net neutrality protections goes into effect Monday. How could the net neutrality repeal affect you? Some states are moving to restore net neutrality, and lawsuits are pending.

Donald Trump, Kim Jong-un arrive in Singapore for historic summit
China and North Korea fought side-by-side against US-led United Nations forces and South Korea in the 1950-53 Korean War. All seven leaders had worked out a joint statement stressing the importance of a rules-based global trading system.

Life is odd 2 getting a set-up game which is completely free
The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit will release for PS4, Xbox One, and PC on June 26th, 2018 as a free download. Developer Dontnod promises many secrets in this self-contained experience, enough to warrant several playthroughs.

New Halo game announced at E3 2018
Battletoads is such an iconic franchise, and no we're getting a reboot that's sure to have retro game fans salivating. To counter that, Microsoft surprised with a huge number of Japanese games coming to Xbox.

Here’s what Square Enix announced at E3 2018
And whatever The Quiet Man is, we assume it's coming from the West if only because of the live-action European actors. Dragon Quest XI was also looking very good, with great graphics and an interesting, somewhat Zelda-esque, open world.

GOP risks fallout from Justice Department move on health law
The second, called community rating, prevents carriers from charging more to those who are sick or had conditions in the past. More than one in four adults under the age of 65 have existing medical conditions, according to Kaiser Family Foundation.

Prince Harry and Meghan to visit Australia in October for Invictus Games
The couple could be seen chatting as the event unfolded, and now, thanks to some lip readers, we know exactly what was said. Meghan is learning the ropes of life as a Duchess.

IHOP flips name to IHOb: International House of Burgers
However, the name change is only for the "time being", with no set date for the return of its classic branding. While many fans were totally on board with new burgers being added to the menu, a few others weren't so sure.