Once the Democrats take control of the United States House of Representatives, they are planning to look into President Donald Trump’s attempts to block the merger between AT&T and Time Warner, according to a report. “We don’t know, for example, whether the effort to hold up the merger of the parent of CNN was a concern over antitrust or whether this was an effort merely to punish CNN,” incoming House intelligence committee chairman Adam Schiff reportedly said in an interview with Axios on HBO. “Schiff said Congress also needs to examine whether Trump attempted to block AT&T’s merger with Time Warner as payback to CNN,” Axios wrote. US District Court Judge Richard Leon had ruled in June that AT&T could proceed with its $85 billion Time Warner purchase to create a telecommunications-media giant, despite the Trump administration opposing the deal and the Department of Justice (DoJ) suing to block it. AT&T then closed the deal in mid-June, completing the takeover to give customers a “differentiated, high-quality, mobile-first entertainment experience”. The DoJ filed its appeal against the ruling in August, citing a “clearly erroneous” decision by a judge who made “fundamental errors of economic logic and reasoning”, the government appeal argued. CNET: AT&T’s Time Warner takeover knocks over media and tech dominoes According to the government, the ruling relied on “two fundamental analytical errors: It discarded the economics of bargaining, and it failed to apply the foundational principle of corporate-wide profit maximization”. A merger between AT&T and Time Warner would increase… [Read full story]
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