Tags: justice department | at&t | time warner | merger | cnn

NYT: DOJ Demands CNN Sale to Approve AT&T-Time Warner Deal

NYT: DOJ Demands CNN Sale to Approve AT&T-Time Warner Deal
(Richard Drew/AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 08 November 2017 03:11 PM

The Justice Department has called on AT&T and Time Warner to sell its Turner Broadcasting division, which includes CNN, as a possible condition for approving their $85.4 billion merger deal, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

AT&T also could sell off its DirecTV unit in order to win approval, according to the report, which cited "people briefed on the matter."

The Justice Department has not made a formal requirement that these assets be sold — but the demand will "almost certainly" bring a court challenge from AT&T and Time Warner.

Representatives for AT&T and Time Warner declined to comment, as did a spokesman for the Justice Department.

President Donald Trump has long slammed CNN for what he says is bias against him and his administration, charging during the campaign that "deals like this destroy democracy," the Times reports.

Trump also said the planned merger was "an example of the power structure" that he was challenging with his candidacy.

However, analysts have said that few legal grounds exist on which the merger can be blocked, according to the Times.

John Stephens, AT&T's chief financial officer, told investors Wednesday that the deal's closing remained uncertain.

"We are in active discussions with the DOJ," Stephens said, the Times reports. "I cannot comment on those discussions.

"But with those discussions, I can now say that the timing of the closing of the deal is now uncertain."

The merger was initially expected to close by the end of the year.

In the meantime, AT&T has hired lobbyists close to Vice President Mike Pence and others in the Trump White House, the Times reports.

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The Justice Department has called on AT&T and Time Warner to sell its Turner Broadcasting division, which includes CNN, as a possible condition for approving their $85.4 billion merger deal, The New York Times reported Wednesday.
justice department, at&t, time warner, merger, cnn
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2017-11-08
Wednesday, 08 November 2017 03:11 PM
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