Face-off between AT&T and the Government

Face-off between AT&T and the Government

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AT&T and the Justice Department of the U.S. will face each other in court to decide the fate of the telecom company’s $85 billion proposed merger with media company Time Warner.

After a year and a half, the arguments of the case are fairly well known. AT&T argues the two companies don’t complete and therefore they aren’t subject to an antitrust challenge. The Justice Department insists that this deal will give a combined company enough leverage to harm its competition, regardless of whether it’s a so-called vertical merger, in which a company acquires a supplier.

What is the case?

It has been long time the government last went to court to block a vertical merger, because of many analysts had predicted that the AT&T deal would simply sail through the regulatory process.

U.S. Business and policy analysts said that this case will be something of a leader at a time when mergers and acquisitions are rapidly on the rise. If the Justice Department win that could signal to industry that the government is taking a harsher view of vertical mergers, deterring future deals and undoing decades of generally permissive policy, but if AT&T wins, analysts say, it would be a setback for regulators and their ability to block vertical mergers they view as anti-competitive.

What Trump Said

AT&T and Time Warner have been blocked in its ability to raise the prospect of White House influence on the merger review. Leon Panetta chief staff of white house rejected the company’s effort to obtain privilege logs that could shed some light on the extent of conversations between the Justice Department and the White House over the merger.



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