AT&T responds to DOJ antitrust complaint2017-11-29 14:03 by Daniela
AT&T has officially fired back at the U.S. Justice Department's lawsuit to block the $85 billion Time Warner merger and has begun pushing for a trial start date in February 2018.
The filing, submitted to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, left very little room for common ground. AT&T repeatedly rejected the assertion that its deal to buy Time Warner would violate antitrust law. The merger would give it control of entertainment firms including HBO, Warner Bros. and CNN parent company Turner Broadcasting.
"Simply put, no competitor will be eliminated by this merger," the company said in the filing. Because AT&T claims it is not seeking to buy a company with which it directly competes, the company said, the government "cannot meet its burden of proof" for an antitrust argument.
The Justice Department said the deal can't go through because the combined company would have the ability and incentive to favor its own owned content.
"This merger would greatly harm American consumers. It would mean higher monthly television bills and fewer of the new, emerging innovative options that consumers are beginning to enjoy," said Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim in a statement. "AT&T/DirecTV's combination with Time Warner is unlawful, and absent an adequate remedy that would fully prevent the harms this merger would cause, the only appropriate action for the Department of Justice is to seek an injunction from a federal judge blocking the entire transaction."
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