The Latest: AT&T, Time Warner complete major merger
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on AT&T’s merger with Time Warner (all times local):
AT&T and Time Warner have completed their merger, one of the biggest media deals ever, just two days after a federal judge approved the combination over objections by the Trump Justice Department that it would hurt consumers.
The merger could shape the way consumers stream TV and movies and how much they pay, and may usher in a new era of accelerating change and deal making in the media and telecom worlds.
The deadline to complete the merger was next week, but the closing came swiftly after the Justice Department signaled it wouldn’t ask the court to postpone the merger while it pondered an appeal of the judge’s decision.
On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Richard Leon ruled against the government’s attempt to block the megamerger on anti-competitive grounds.
AT&T and Time Warner say they have a clear path to complete their newly approved merger. Their lawyer says the Justice Department has signaled it won’t ask for a postponement while it ponders an appeal of a judge’s ruling.
On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Richard Leon ruled against the government’s attempt to block the $85 billion deal on antitrust grounds. Now the companies could close their merger “as soon as possible,” according to a Thursday letter from their lead attorney to Justice Department lawyers. The government is still considering whether to appeal Leon’s ruling to a higher court.
The companies’ attorney, Daniel Petrocelli, said he understood that the Justice Department “has no objection to closing this merger as soon as possible” and won’t seek an injunction.