Last week AT&T purchased Time Warner for $85.4 billion. Before the deal is made official, AT&T must resolve a major federal lawsuit.
On Wednesday, the Department of Justice sued AT&T’s DirecTV unit, “alleging it was ‘the ringleader’ in unlawful efforts to prevent widespread carriage of the SportsNet LA television channel owned by the Los Angeles Dodgers.” The Justice Department will also review the Time Warner deal making events rather murky, begging the quesiton;
How will the recent lawsuit affect AT&T’s attempt to buy Time Warner?
The unlawful activity AT&T is accused of took place in July 2015 and the company believes the allegations will not directly affect regulatory approval of Time Warner. Many public figures strongly disagree with this assertion and believe the deal would make AT&T too powerful.
Both Presidential candidates have voiced their concerns about the deal. Donald Trump has said his administration would block the deal and Hillary Clinton has repeated the merger is raising concerns and questions. The Senate Judiciary antitrust subcommittee has scheduled a hearing for Dec. 7 after the Committee Chairman Charles Grassley called for a “robust review.”
Matt Wood, policy director of Free Press, also voiced his concerns. “AT&T and DirecTV had too much power over the pay-TV, Internet and content markets even before their multibillion merger closed last year.”