The Trump administration’s Department of Justice (DOJ) today filed a lawsuit to block AT&T’s proposed acquisition of Time Warner Inc. AT&T has been the nation’s largest pay-TV company since it acquired DirecTV in 2015. Acquiring Time Warner and its stable of popular TV programming would give the company too much control over programming and distribution, the DOJ said. Together, AT&T and Time Warner would attempt to impede competition from online video distributors and raise prices on rivals that want access to Time Warner programming, the DOJ alleged. The DOJ complaint says: AT&T/DirecTV would hinder its rivals by forcing them to pay hundreds of millions of dollars more per year for Time Warner’s networks, and it would use its increased power to slow the industry’s transition to new and exciting video distribution models that provide greater choice for consumers. The proposed merger would result in fewer innovative offerings and higher bills for American families. The DOJ’s complaint was filed in the US District Court for the District of Columbia. The complaint says the deal violates Section 7 of the Clayton Act, which prohibits mergers and acquisitions that lessen competition or create a monopoly. The complaint seeks a court order that would… Read full this story
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