The U.S. Department of Justice is looking into AT&T’s planned acquisition of Time Warner, with concerns that it could violate antitrust laws meant to protect the martketplace from unfair competition practices. At the same time, the DOJ is trying to work out a deal with both companies that would alter the terms enough to satisfy the government’s standards.
If a deal cannot be reached, the DOJ may file a lawsuit to block the deal altogether, sources told The Wall Street Journal. The Justice Department has reportedly been in talks with AT&T officials, but they have not decided what action to take at this time. AT&T and Time Warner reached an agreement on their deal in October 2016, with AT&T agreeing to buy the company for $85 billion.
A spokesperson for AT&T was not concerned with these latest developments, telling CNBC that the DOJ should approve the deal because it would actually be good for consumers. “Vertical mergers like this one are routinely approved because they benefit consumers without removing any competitor from the market,” the spokesperson said. “While we won’t comment on our discussions with (the Department of Justice), we can say that this transaction should be no exception.”
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