Tags: christopher ruddy | newsmax | oppose | at&t | merger

Gasparino Tells Fox Business: Newsmax to Oppose AT&T Merger

(AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 07 December 2016 10:45 PM

The proposed merger between AT&T and Time Warner would be bad for competition and would "promote liberal CNN," Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy said.

Fox Business Network's Charles Gasparino reported on his network Wednesday that Ruddy is opposed to the deal and is willing to join with a growing group of conservative and liberal critics who oppose the plan.

Michael Reagan, son of the late president and a conservative commentator, wrote an op-ed Wednesday opposing the $85 billion deal as Senate judiciary hearings were set to begin.

The deal would mean that AT&T, as the acquiring company in the proposal, would control around 25 percent of all cable and satellite traffic across the United States (AT&T also owns DirecTV).

At the same time, AT&T would own several powerful content channels like CNN and HBO.

That combination will give the new merged AT&T powerful leverage over the market and competitions, something Ruddy and other critics are worried about.

"Conservative media outlet Newsmax plans to oppose this," Gasparino reported. "Newsmax's CEO Chris Ruddy … he's planning to use all the leverage he has, from his network, his website, and possibly his lobbying effort.

"He says that this deal will stifle competition and promote liberal CNN."

Gasparino noted that President-elect Donald Trump is opposed to the deal, and said Ruddy "has close ties with Trump. He was at Mar-a-Lago during Thanksgiving. He was asked by Donald Trump who he should pick for secretary of state.

"This guy has Trump's ear, so he is going use that ear to try to kill this deal."

Gasparino said Ruddy told him CNN would have a "leg up on us" and other news channels like Fox if the deal is approved.

The CEOs of AT&T and Time Warner answered questions from lawmakers regarding the $85.4 billion proposal Wednesday during a Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing.

The New York Times reports that members of the committee grilled them and expressed concern about whether it would hurt competition in the competitive media market.

In his Newsmax column earlier Wednesday, Michael Reagan applauded Trump for his early opposition to the deal.

"Trump was right when he warned of the massive concentration of media power in a few hands," Reagan wrote. Reagan endorsed Trump for president.

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The proposed merger between AT&T and Time Warner would be bad for competition and would "promote liberal CNN," Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy said.
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2016-45-07
Wednesday, 07 December 2016 10:45 PM
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