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Time Warner merger with AT&T gets judge's approval

Time Warner merger with AT&T gets judge's approval

A federal judge on Tuesday gave his blessing to telecom giant AT&T's drive to take over the Time Warner media conglomerate.

"This decision from Judge Leon will have broad ramifications for the tech, telecommunications and media sector for decades to come", Daniel Ives, the chief strategy officer at GBH Insights, told Business Insider in an email before the decision was handed down.

Shares of AT&T fell about 1.3 percent in after-hours trade following the decision, while Time Warner rose more than 5 percent. In February, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the ranking member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and Rep. Gerald E. Connolly, the ranking member of the Subcommittee on Government Operations, sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions asking for documents and emails between the Justice Department and the White House about the decision to sue AT&T and Time Warner.

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

If AT&T is successful in its bid to buy Time Warner, it will nearly certainly find itself competing in a media market dominated by other large, integrated providers.

Today's ruling comes as part of the antitrust lawsuit levied by the Justice Department a year ago.

AT&T, which has invested heavily in a streaming video service called DirecTV Now, is free to bulk up its original programming with Time Warner content. The company will now work to complete the merger by June 20th. The proposed merger was so big and consequential that it forced federal antitrust lawyers to reconsider legal doctrine that permitted mergers of companies that don't directly compete.

Real Madrid Announce Zinedine Zidane's Replacement
They also scored 36 goals, and their form means they are one of the favourites ahead of the tournament in Russian Federation . It remains to be seen if he will head to Real as a World Cup victor , though Spain's squad is stocked with exciting talent.

Announced in October 2016, the deal was quickly denounced by Donald Trump, who as a candidate and later as president has been critical of Time Warner's CNN and its coverage.

Comcast is widely expected to bid within days for part of 21st Century Fox.

The government's case hinged on an economic model produced by Carl Shapiro, an economist at the University of California at Berkeley, who predicted an annual price increase to consumers of at least $285 million. "The proposed merger would result in fewer innovative offerings and higher bills for American families". Comcast and Verizon are also jockeying for position in the new landscape.

But the most immediate effect of the deal will be on the already consolidated media market.

Aetna, which is about to be acquired by CVS Health in a $68 billion deal, had its shares jump 3.5 percent, to $187.00. In order for them to compete against these giants, Time Warner needs AT&T's distribution network of broadband and wireless customers.

Outside of court, however, critics of the lawsuit pointed to Trump's frequent criticism of CNN, which is owned by Time Warner. AT&T and Time Warner say that by coming together they can create synergies of data and information that will help them make better content and sell more targeted ads, which they claim could ultimately help lower prices for consumers. He rejected the government's argument that it would hurt competition in pay TV and cost consumers hundreds of millions of dollars more to stream TV and movies.


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