Earlier today, and after nearly six-weeks of trial, U.S. District Judge Richard Leon, ruled in favor of AT&T’s $85. 4 billion buyout of Time Warner.
AT&T said it plans to close on the deal before June 20, leaving little time for the Justice Department to file an appeal.
The government regulators, those responsible for the birth of the lawsuit, made it clear that this merger would result in higher prices across the industry. Donald Trump has also weighed in favor of the U.S. Government arguing that the larger company would have too much power, and that individuals’ TV tab would rise as a result.
However, AT&T has offered much pushback on the topic, saying that the merger will create control over both sides of content operations and collect valuable customer data — which would be used to sell high-priced targeted advertising. With the extra cash-flow, it would eventually lower the cost of its subscription services.
It’s important to add that a new twist occurred after the reveal that AT&T paid President Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen $600,000 for consulting services at the time the company was seeking approval for the merger. “It was legal, but it also was a big mistake” said AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson.
“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,” said AT&T general counsel David McAtee.
This deal could potentially signal new wireless plans for consumers as well.
AT&T, an American multinational conglomerate and the world’s largest telecommunications company, first announced a deal in October 2016 that would allow it to acquire Time Warner, a content creator that owns HBO, Warner Bros. and Turner Broadcasting, among many others.
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