Back in the middle of last month, U. S. District Judge Richard Leon ruled in favor of AT&T’s purchase of Time Warner, and against the DOJ. That decision allowed the $85.4 billion transaction to go through. Judge Leon made it clear in no uncertain terms that the Justice Department should not appeal his ruling. In addition, the judge did not force AT&T to make any divestitures
Back in the middle of last month, U. S. District Judge Richard Leon ruled in favor of AT&T’s purchase of Time Warner, and against the DOJ. That decision allowed the $85.4 billion transaction to go through. Judge Leon made it clear in no uncertain terms that the Justice Department should not appeal his ruling. In addition, the judge did not force AT&T to make any divestitures to help glide the deal through court approval.
However, a court document filed today indicates that the Justice Department will appeal the decision. This decision to appeal could have been made at the highest levels of the Trump administration. When the deal was announced almost three weeks before the 2016 election, then Republican nominee Donald Trump rejected the transaction by stating, “It’s too much concentration of power in the hands of too few.” He said that if elected president, he would block the transaction from taking place.
Once it received approval from the court, AT&T quickly closed on its purchase which includes the Time Warner studio, a library of popular films including “Batman” and “Harry Potter” movies, and cable channels HBO, TBS, TNT and CNN. It also launched an app called AT&T Watch that streams content from some of the cable properties that AT&T acquired including TNT, TBS, TCM, Cartoon Network/Adult Swim, Boomerang and TruTV.
“The Court’s decision could hardly have been more thorough, fact-based, and well-reasoned. While the losing party in litigation always has the right to appeal if it wishes, we are surprised that the DOJ has chosen to do so under these circumstances. We are ready to defend the Court’s decision at the D. C. Circuit Court of Appeals.” David McAtee, General Counsel, AT&T
AT&T was riding a high; after getting approval for its purchase of Time Warner, a California assemblyman named Miguel Santiago, voted into office thanks to campaign donations from AT&T, put the kibosh on a bill that would legislate net neutrality in California. However, just over the last few days things have taken a turn for the worse as far as the nation’s second largest carrier is concerned. Assemblyman Santiago said that he will put back the provisions he removed from the bill, giving the bill a clear route to the desk of Governor Jerry Brown who is expected to sign it. And now, it seems that the DOJ wants another crack at blocking the Time Warner deal.

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