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giftedviz.com November 21, 2017


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

12 November 2017, 01:53 | Max Haynes

Rupert Murdoch 'interested in buying CNN' after reports Trump administration may force AT&T to sell it

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

AT&T has signalled it would not agree to sell DirecTV, which it acquired for $49 billion in 2015, leaving CNN and other cable TV assets as the main sticking point in negotiations.

CNN, which President Trump has derided as "fake news" - while praising Murdoch's Fox News - is at the center of AT&T's $85.4 billion deal to buy Time Warner.

"We're prepared to litigate now", Stephenson said at a conference this week hosted by the New York Times. Opponents are pushing for conditions that would limit AT&T's ability to charge media rivals higher prices to carry Time Warner content.

Reports conflicted this week about whether AT&T and Time Warner are being asked to sell CNN as part of the merger, in order to avoid monopoly regulations. The White House has also said that Trump has not spoken to Attorney General Jeff Sessions about the matter, nor were any White House officials authorized to speak to DOJ on it.

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Trump vowed on the campaign trail past year to block the merger because "it's too much concentration of power in the hands of too few".

Nevertheless, a group of eight Democratic US senators on Friday wrote to Makan Delrahim, head of the Justice Department's antitrust division, urging the department "to oppose any attempt by the White House to interfere with antitrust law enforcement decisions, particularly for political reasons". AT&T stock closed up 1.1 percent at $33.44. The deal has yet to be approved by US antitrust regulators. 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. US President Donald Trump has repeatedly attacked the network for its coverage of his campaign and his administration, while he has publicly praised Murdoch's Fox News. He said the company has "very good" prospects of winning in court against the Justice Department.

The DoJ has said it does not comment on ongoing investigations.



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