Time Warner shares drop on report DOJ may sue to block AT&T deal

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Time Warner inventory fell 5% Thursday morning on the information that the U.S. authorities could sue to dam AT&T’s acquisition of the media firm.

Dow Jones, which reported the information, additionally famous that the Justice Department and AT&T are “discussing possible settlement terms that would lead to the deal winning government approval with conditions attached.”

These preparations, often called consent decrees, are widespread for mergers.

“When the DOJ reviews any transaction, it is common and expected for both sides to prepare for all possible scenarios,” an AT&T spokesperson stated in a press release. “For over 40 years, vertical mergers like this one have always been approved because they benefit consumers without removing any competitors from the market. While we won’t comment on our discussions with DOJ, we see no reason in the law or the facts why this transaction should be an exception.”

The Department of Justice didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

AT&T (T, Tech30) introduced its intent to buy Time Warner simply over a 12 months in the past. CNN is a unit of Time Warner (TWX). The media firm additionally owns Warner Bros., HBO, TNT and a portfolio of different channels.

The deal is being reviewed by the antitrust division of the Department of Justice. AT&T representatives have been in talks with U.S. officers concerning the phrases of the consent decree for months.

Dow Jones stated the Justice Department is “actively considering” an antitrust lawsuit, however stated no determination has been made.

It just isn’t uncommon for the DOJ to barter with an organization whereas getting ready a possible lawsuit on a parallel observe.

AT&T executives have already deliberate for a possible authorized problem to the deal. The executives say a vertical integration of this type — combining a wi-fi large with a leisure and information supplier — doesn’t pose an antitrust menace and doesn’t hurt competitors within the market.

Thursday’s information is more likely to rekindle considerations about doable Trump administration interference within the pending deal.

On the marketing campaign path, President Trump publicly vowed to dam the merger. He continuously criticizes CNN on Twitter and in public appearances.

But the Justice Department has traditionally reviewed mergers and acquisitions with an unbiased eye, wanting on the long-term results on shoppers, not the present president’s feuds.

Regulatory our bodies in additional than a dozen different nations have already given their approvals to the deal. The U.S. is the ultimate nation from which AT&T wants approval.

AT&T and Time Warner executives have beforehand stated that they count on the deal to shut and take impact by the top of the 12 months.

CNNMoney (New York) First revealed November 2, 2017: 11:16 AM ET


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