A federal judge ruled on Tuesday that AT&T’s $85.4 billion bid for Time Warner was legal, imposing no conditions on the merger. The government had the option to seek a stay, delaying the merger for a designated waiting period, but has foregone that option.
The Justice Department can still appeal the decision, even after the completion of a merger.
“We understand that, based on these representations, the Department of Justice has no objection to closing this merger as soon as possible,” Daniel M. Petrocelli, counsel for AT&T and Time Warner, said in a letter to the DOJ.
The DOJ sued last year to block the merger, citing concerns that AT&T, owner of satellite television provider DirecTV, could charge rival distributors more for Time Warner content, resulting in higher prices for consumers.
AT&T said in a letter to the DOJ Thursday it will take action to run Time Warner-owned Turner Broadcasting, which owns CNN, as a separate business unit from AT&T-owned DirecTV.
The company said its wireless division, the nation’s second largest, will have “no role in setting Turner’s prices or other terms to unaffiliated distributors” and that it will implement a “firewall between Turner and AT&T Communications” to prevent improper sharing of information or pricing.
This story is developing. Please check back for updates.
Source: Tech CNBC
CORRECTION: DOJ will not seek a stay in AT&T merger, allows deal to close pending potential appeal