DOJ Blasts AT&T’s Reply To Its Lawsuit Appeal As “Revisionist” Rehash

AT&T executives have predicted a resolution by January. Circuit. A panel of three judges is expected to hear the case in the coming weeks. In June, U.S. District Court Judge Richard J. Leon handed AT&T a sweeping victory, allowing the $79 billion deal to close and warning the DOJ not to bother appealing given what he saw as the tenuousness of its argument. Later in the summer, the agency filed an appeal anyway, which is now before the D.C.
Regulators' 35-page response to AT&T's reply brief (read it HERE) is broken into chapters with headings that start "AT&T Ignores …," "AT&T Fails …" and "AT&T Mischaracterizes …"
This isn’t surprising,” the statement continued. The brief "does not remedy the economic and logical errors in the decision. In a statement summing up the reply brief, DOJ antitrust division chief Makan Delrahim called AT&T's response to the government's appellate complaint "a revisionist, 58-page summary" of Leon's opinion. “Ultimately, AT&T never resolves the district court’s erroneous rejection of the economics of bargaining and the principle of corporate-wide profit maximization, which are the basis of our appeal.”” />
In the latest salvo in the two-year-old saga of AT&T's acquisition of Time Warner — which has technically closed but still faces a legal challenge — the Department of Justice systematically blasted the company's counter-claims.
the programmer must have the type of content that can drive consumers who lose it to switch, and the distributor must earn a margin on subscribers gained from the switch. "There is no merit to AT&T’s hyperbolic contention that the economics of bargaining predicts that any vertical merger in the pay-television industry will result in higher programming prices," the DOJ brief states. The DOJ brief tackles a range of issues it sees as central to its contention that the merger is harmful to both rivals and consumers. This one does." It scoffs at AT&T's attempt in its previous brief to brush off the notion of the merged AT&T possibly being able to benefit from controlling both a major programmer, Turner Broadcasting, as well as the No. Most vertical mergers do not meet this standard. 1 satellite distributor, DirecTV. "As the government showed, for a merger to lessen competition substantially …

Government Poised To File Suit To Block AT&T-Time Warner Deal: Reports

The U.S. Department of Justice plans to file a lawsuit tomorrow to block the AT&T-Time Warner merger, according to multiple media reports this afternoon.
Although the situation has been shrouded in confusion, his department has reportedly communicated to AT&T that it would have to ditch Turner Broadcasting, including CNN, or DirecTV, in order to gain approval. The action would officially draw a line in the sand that the government has been threatening for months. Makan Delrahim, head of the DOJ's antitrust division  has recently articulated a philosophy that calls for added scrutiny of the "behavioral remedies" that allowed comparable deals like Comcast-NBCUniversal to go through under President Obama.
Time Warner shares slipped 1% to $87.69 as the news hit Wall Street, while AT&T actually gained a fraction to finish at $34.65.
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Philosophy isn't the operative word for President Donald Trump's view of the $85 billion deal. He has long assailed CNN as "fake news" and has spoken publicly against the combination and is seen as a potential factor in foiling the deal, even though the news network will continue to report on his administration regardless of its corporate ownership.