Trump’s CNN attacks may hobble legal case to block AT&T-Time Warner deal
The court’s rejections of the Muslim ban foreshadow the tainted DoJ review of the AT&T/Time Warner merger review:
Trump’s repeated claims that CNN produces “fake news” and other criticisms of the network could hurt legitimate legal arguments the Department of Justice may use to show the deal gives the company too much power over media rivals and is bad for consumers.
“His comments have soiled the process,” said John Kwoka, an economics professor at Northeastern University. “If I were AT&T’s lawyers I would certainly introduce them into the evidentiary record as meddling with what is really a law enforcement process.”
The fate of AT&T Inc’s (T.N) $85.4 billion deal to buy Time Warner Inc (TWX.N), hatched in October 2016, looks set to end up in court as the two sides have so far failed to agree on what conditions AT&T needs to meet in order to gain antitrust approval.
Justice Department staff have recommended that AT&T sell either its DirecTV unit or Time Warner Inc’s (TWX.N) Turner Broadcasting unit, which includes news company CNN, a government official told Reuters on Thursday, on the grounds that a combined company would raise costs for rival entertainment distributors and stifle innovation.
Read the whole thing at Reuters.