Government's holdup of AT&T's acquisition of Time Warner worries some

  • Government's holdup of AT&T's acquisition of Time Warner worries some

Government's holdup of AT&T's acquisition of Time Warner worries some

President Donald Trump appeared to stress on Saturday that he had not intervened in AT&T's bid to buy Time Warner - or sought to require that the companies sell CNN in order to obtain the USA government's approval of the deal.

The revelation of those comments came days after reports that the Department of Justice was pressuring Time Warner to sell CNN before approving the telecom giant's merger with AT&T.

As the Justice Department prepares for a legal showdown with AT&T over its $85 billion bid for Time Warner, analysts are debating whether the acquisition's potential harms to consumers and competition could sink the deal in court.

The news comes after reports saying the Trump administration may force AT&T to sell the network. Then in January, Bloomberg reported that Trump was still opposed to the deal, with one Trumpworld confidant explaining that the then-president-elect's opposition was, in part, due to his frustration with CNN's coverage of him.

"I didn't make that decision", Trump told reporters. "That probably ends up being litigation; maybe not".

U.S. authorities have told AT&T and Time Warner they must sell the CNN news channel or satellite operator DirecTV to get the green light for their merger, a source close to the deal told AFP on Wednesday.

President Trump on Saturday said that the USA needs as "many news outlets as you can" get in the face of the rumored sale of news network CNN. AT&T announced plans a year ago to purchase Time Warner to create a juggernaut with more than 142 million mobile subscribers and a major player in pay TV broadcasting via DirecTV. "While we won't comment on our discussions with DOJ, we see no reason in the law or the facts why this transaction should be an exception". "I do feel you should have as many news outlets as you can-especially since so many are fake".

"We're prepared to litigate now", Stephenson said at a conference this week hosted by the New York Times.

Both Delrahim - who said late a year ago that he didn't see the merger "as a major antitrust problem" - and the White House have denied that Trump or White House officials have attempted to instruct or influence the DOJ's decision regarding the merger.