AT&T ready to fight United States on Time Warner deal: CEO

AT&T ready to fight United States on Time Warner deal: CEO

A White House official said Kushner didn't intend for the comment to be taken seriously and was only trying to make a point, according to the Journal, which reported that the remark "wasn't taken lightly" inside Time Warner.

AT&T may choose to force the DOJ's hand by moving to close the deal, which could trigger a court fight.

Rupert Murdoch may be kicking the tires on a deal to buy CNN.

In February, President Donald Trump's adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner told an executive at CNN's parent company Time Warner that they should fire 20 percent of the cable news agency's staff. His FCC appointees, for example, have changed a rule that will allow deeply conservative Sinclair Broadcasting - the new owner of WNEP-TV - to reach up to 72 percent of US households.

In the on-stage interview, Stephenson said that if AT&T is required to sell "some of the key franchises of the business that are the most desired for the business plan. we would move to litigation". "It's illogical. It's why we did the deal", he said.

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"I didn't make that decision", Trump told reporters. The White House has said Trump has not spoken to the attorney general about the matter. Buying Time Warner would give AT&T more video through HBO, CNN, TBS, TNT and other cable networks and the Warner Bros. movie studio. But many, including AT&T executives, expected the acquisition to be finalized by the end of the year, and the DOJ's pushback has all but ensured that won't be the case. Over the summer The New York Times reported that Trump aides discussed using the pending deal as a powerful form of leverage over CNN's coverage.

Delrahim has said he prefers "structural" changes to a deal, like selling off assets, rather than having the government monitor a company's promises to abide by certain conditions, as was done with Comcast. Several Democratic lawmakers have also pushed back against the combination. He previously said he wouldn't be willing to sell CNN.

Antitrust experts were hard-pressed to think of examples of blocked "vertical" deals, in which the acquiring company isn't a direct competitor of the company being purchased.

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

Stephens reiterated confidence in the deal, saying "these types of mergers bring great benefit to customers and have very routinely been approved by the DOJ and the federal government".

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