AT&T and Time Warner say proposed merger is 'pro-consumer' | Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - AT&T Inc (T.N) and Time Warner Inc (TWX.N) argued on Tuesday that their proposed $85.4 billion merger was “pro-competitive” and “pro-consumer”, as they sought to refute U.S. Justice Department allegations that the deal breaks antitrust law.

Reuters November 29, 2017 05:45:09 IST
AT&T and Time Warner say proposed merger is 'pro-consumer' | Reuters

ATT and Time Warner say proposed merger is proconsumer  ReutersWASHINGTON (Reuters) - AT&T Inc (T.N) and Time Warner Inc (TWX.N) argued on Tuesday that their proposed $85.4 billion merger was “pro-competitive” and “pro-consumer”, as they sought to refute U.S. Justice Department allegations that the deal breaks antitrust law. FILE PHOTO: An AT&T logo and communication equipment is shown on a building in downtown Los Angeles, California, U.S. on October 29, 2014. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File PhotoIn a joint court filing, the companies focused on rebutting government efforts to show that AT&T, which owns pay-TV provider DirecTV, would raise rates for rival pay-TV companies to use Time Warner’s movies and TV shows. They also argued that the government was wrong to worry that the deal would hamper the development of online video. They did not mention President Donald Trump or the White House. Trump has repeatedly criticized Time Warner’s CNN news unit and announced his opposition to the deal before last year’s presidential election, saying it would concentrate too much power in AT&T’s hands. Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal, who is sceptical of the deal, said last week he was nonetheless worried that the antitrust issue was being used for political reasons. Other lawmakers have expressed similar concerns. The Justice Department last week sued AT&T to block its planned acquisition of Time Warner. In the filing on Tuesday, the companies said that they operate in highly competitive markets which will remain competitive after they close the deal. They noted that streaming service Netflix (NFLX.O) has 100 million subscribers globally, while tech firms Apple (AAPL.O), Google (GOOGL.O) and Facebook (FB.O) were investing billions of dollars in video. Hulu and Amazon (AMZN.O) were becoming contenders in video distribution, while others, like social messaging company Snapchat (SNAP.N), were starting to enter the market, they added. “Against this backdrop, the proposed merger of AT&T and Time Warner is a pro-competitive, pro-consumer response to an intensely competitive and rapidly changing video marketplace,” the companies said in the filing. “This transaction presents absolutely no risk of harm to competition or consumers.” The trial will be heard by Judge Richard Leon at the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Leon was nominated to the court by former Republican President George W. Bush and is no stranger to high-profile cases. Leon signed off on the Justice Department’s 2011 deal which allowed Comcast to buy NBC Universal and has heard a number of private antitrust cases. In the 1990s, he worked on House of Representatives panels looking at the Iran-Contra affair and the Whitewater controversy. Termination date for the deal is April 22, 2018.

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Danish Siddiqui killed in Afghanistan: Politicans, journalists pay tributes
India

Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Danish Siddiqui killed in Afghanistan: Politicans, journalists pay tributes

The Pulitzer prize winner, who was in Kandahar covering operations against Taliban, was killed when he was riding along with the Afghan Special Forces

Indian photojournalist Danish Siddiqui killed during assignment in Afghanistan's Kandahar province
India

Indian photojournalist Danish Siddiqui killed during assignment in Afghanistan's Kandahar province

Siddiqui had also covered the 2020 Delhi riots, COVID-19 pandemic, Nepal earthquake in 2015 and the protests in Hong Kong

Danish Siddiqui's passing is a reminder of the high price one pays for showing the truth
India

Danish Siddiqui's passing is a reminder of the high price one pays for showing the truth

Danish's photographs were not just documentation, but the work of someone who went down to eye-level, as they say in photographic parlance.