gpolit.com
gpolit.com November 21, 2017


AT&T may have to sell CNN to merge with Time Warner

12 November 2017, 01:53 | Erma Lawrence

Donald Trump vowed to stop the deal while running for presidency

Donald Trump

However, another source said Murdoch had "zero interest" in owning the network.

The deal's holdup has raised suspicions of political retaliation - even from people who oppose the deal entirely. The White House has said Trump has not spoken to the attorney general about the matter.

Trump during a campaign appearance in 2016 called the merger "an example of the power structure I'm fighting" and called it "a deal we will not approve in my administration because it's too much concentration of power in the hands of too few".

The official the president referred to was DOJ anti-trust chief Makan Delrahim, a Trump appointee who has threatened to block the deal in court unless AT&T sells off either Turner Broadcasting or its DirecTV service-the latter option impossible as it would undermine the entire basis of the merger.

"I do feel you should have as many news outlets as you can - especially since so many are fake", he told reporters on Air Force One. He said the company had been ready to go to court the day the deal was announced. AT&T shares rose 1.6 percent to $33.97. The companies had been planning to finalize the deal by the end of the year, and just last week AT&T said it was confident it would win approval for the deal since it does not involve direct competitors. Obama-era regulators in 2011 approved a similar media merger, cable company Comcast's purchase of NBCUniversal, after Comcast agreed to a slew of business requirements. Requiring AT&T to sell either Turner or DirecTV would be in line with Delrahim's thinking. Opponents are pushing for conditions that would limit AT&T's ability to charge media rivals higher prices to carry Time Warner content. It would then supply its video - HBO, CNN, TBS and the Warner Bros. movie studio - while providing access to the internet for millions of Americans. Several Democratic lawmakers have also pushed back against the combination. "Beyond that, the Department does not comment on any pending investigation".



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