Judge approves AT&T's merger with Time Warner | AT&T

Judge approves AT&T's merger with Time Warner | AT&T

Federal judge Richard Leon appoved the $85 billion merger in court Wednesday, almost two years after the planned deal was announced.

"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. But if the ruling falls in the Justice Department's favor, a new era of government scrutiny over these types of mergers could freeze further consolidation in the industry. "We continue to believe the pay-TV market will be less competitive and less innovative as a result of the proposed merger between AT&T and Time Warner".

In his decision, Leon weighed in on a case that carried political overtones, scrambled typical ideological alignments and triggered close attention from corporate executives beyond media.

On November 20, 2017 the Justice Department sued to stop the deal, saying the merger would violate antitrust law because it would harm competition and consumers. Stephenson said Watch would only be possible if the merger went through. The "drop dead" deadline for the merger to be completed is June 21.

The biggest impact of this deal will be felt quickly, as Comcast will now formally make an offer to Fox for the majority of its assets.

Signing Marouane Fellaini would offer Arsenal something different - Ray Parlour
The Red Devils signed the Belgium global in a £75m deal from Premier League rivals Everton in the 2017 summer transfer window. Fellaini is expected to leave Manchester United this summer, after refusing to sign a new deal with the club.

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.

Those comments and his repeated criticism of CNN, which is owned by Time Warner's unit Turner Broadcasting, raised speculation that Trump had pushed Delrahim and the Justice Department to block the deal. It is, he said then, "a deal we will not approve in my administration because it's too much concentration of power in hands of too few". Ultimately, the government argued this would harm competition and innovation as well as raise prices for consumers. The government's star witness was Carl Shapiro, an economist at the University of California, who used an economic model to predict that consumer cable bills could rise by $500 million annually in aggregate by 2021. For instance, AT&T could charge other content providers (including Verizon, which owns HuffPost's parent company, Oath) artificially high prices to air the cable channels it acquired through Time Warner. The companies rejected both options.

"We are pleased that, after conducting a full and fair trial on the merits, the Court has categorically rejected the government's lawsuit to block our merger with Time Warner", McAtee said in a statement.

"AT&T/DirecTV would hinder its rivals by forcing them to pay hundreds of millions of dollars more per year for Time Warner's networks, and it would use its increased power to slow the industry's transition to new and exciting video distribution models that provide greater choice for consumers", the DOJ said in its complaint. In addition, T-Mobile and Sprint are direct competitors, so their merger is perhaps more likely to be seen as anti-competitive than a union of AT&T and Time Warner.

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