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A planned merger between AT&T and Time Warner can move forward, a U.S. District Court Judge ruled this afternoon, reports CNBC.

AT&T's $85.4 billion purchase of Time Warner has been on hold since November, when the United States Justice Department filed a lawsuit to stop the merger, based on the argument that it would result in higher bills and fewer options for consumers.

According to the court's ruling, the merger between the two companies is legal, and no conditions were imposed on its approval.

In a statement, AT&T said that it is pleased with the merger and plans to move forward with closing the deal on or before June 20.
"We are pleased that, after conducting a full and fair trial on the merits, the Court has categorically rejected the government's lawsuit to block our merger with Time Warner. We thank the Court for its thorough and timely examination of the evidence, and we compliment our colleagues at the Department of Justice on their dedicated representation of the government. We look forward to closing the merger on or before June 20 so we can begin to give consumers video entertainment that is more affordable, mobile, and innovative."
The Justice Department, meanwhile, said that it was disappointed with the court's ruling.
"We continue to believe that the pay-TV market will be less competitive and less innovative as a result of the proposed merger between AT&T and Time Warner. We will closely review the Court's opinion and consider next steps in light of our commitment to preserving competition for the benefit of American consumers."
Today's decision could have an impact on other significant "vertical" mergers where distribution companies like AT&T purchase companies that make content, like Time Warner. Comcast, for example, has already announced plans to bid on Fox's assets in an attempt to beat out Disney.

Article Link: Judge Approves AT&T and Time Warner Merger
 

Mikey44

macrumors regular
Mar 6, 2012
141
339
This is a huge win for conservatives rooting for smaller government.

The justice department saw this as a potential issue for abuse, and plans on keeping an eye on it, but lost despite it's legal and lawful attempt to stop the merger.

I think it's interesting that they consider this a vertical merger.. perhaps I am missing what Time Warner does.
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Surely this will only be a benefit to consumers. /s
I think it's important to note what the response of the justice department was:
"We continue to believe that the pay-TV market will be less competitive and less innovative as a result of the proposed merger between AT&T and Time Warner. We will closely review the Court's opinion and consider next steps in light of our commitment to preserving competition for the benefit of American consumers."

I'm willing to bet that if AT&T steps out of line, especially after this merger, that they would lay the hammer down.

Just saying. :cool:
 
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vipergts2207

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Apr 7, 2009
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I think it's important to note what the response of the justice department was:
"We continue to believe that the pay-TV market will be less competitive and less innovative as a result of the proposed merger between AT&T and Time Warner. We will closely review the Court's opinion and consider next steps in light of our commitment to preserving competition for the benefit of American consumers."

I'm willing to bet that if AT&T steps out of line, especially after this merger, that they would lay the hammer down.

Just saying. :cool:

Yes, the U.S. government has quite the record of cracking down on large corporations when they commit wrongdoing. /s
 

SFO 1K

macrumors newbie
Nov 26, 2007
26
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I think it's interesting that they consider this a vertical merger.. perhaps I am missing what Time Warner does.

Are you confusing the TimeWarner internet service provider with the TW media holdings (Warner Bros Studios, CNN, HBO Turner Networks, etc.)?

AT&T doesn't own any content - until now.

This is just like when Comcast acquired NBCUniversal.
 

mariusignorello

macrumors 68000
Jun 9, 2013
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Just a side note...mergers are not the only way a company can have a monopoly. Just look at Comcast with their licensed X1 platform...
 

Mikey44

macrumors regular
Mar 6, 2012
141
339
Are you confusing the TimeWarner internet service provider with the TW media holdings (Warner Bros Studios, CNN, HBO Turner Networks, etc.)?

AT&T doesn't own any content - until now.

This is just like when Comcast acquired NBCUniversal.

Thank you, I think that was where my confusion lay.
 

elvisimprsntr

macrumors 6502
Jul 17, 2013
400
536
Florida
I don't $ubscribe to pay TV $ervices. All the **** coming out of Hollywood and media outlets isn't worth forking over my hard earned ca$h for. OTA antenna and HDHomeRun tuner is all I need for local news/sports.

I wonder if this is basically service providers bulking up on content so they can extort fees from each other (passed on to the consumer) to carry each others content. All thanks to the end of net neutrality.
 

Mikey44

macrumors regular
Mar 6, 2012
141
339
Yes, the U.S. government has quite the record of cracking down on large corporations when they commit wrongdoing. /s

Actually, they do. When the justice department is doing what it is supposed to. When the justice department gets too political, then it becomes a problem.

I trust your google-fu will serve you well if you look into it. Just because you don't hear about it in the news all the time, doesn't mean that it doesn't happen. It happens quite regularly.
 

Cloudkicker

macrumors 6502
Nov 29, 2016
403
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London, Canada/Los Angeles, CA
Just a side note...mergers are not the only way a company can have a monopoly. Just look at Comcast with their licensed X1 platform...

Here in Canada, Shaw & Bell Fibe use the X1. Rogers was going to go proprietary, but ditched it a couple years ago & will, too, adopt Comcast's model... almost 10 years to late after the wide spread Fibe.

If I understand this correctly, this is for TW's stable of channels (CNN, TNT, etc.) & not Time Warner Cable, which hooked up w/ Charter to form newly-minted Spectrum. Yes?

If it was cable, then it would open up our situation of BellTV (satellite, previously Bell ExpressVu)/Bell Fibe and identical Shaw Direct (satellite, previously Star Choice)/Shaw. You own cable & DTH sat, you find the sweetest spot: Most people sub to cable, especially apartments. Rural & cottage folks sub to sat.
 
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lec0rsaire

macrumors 68000
Feb 23, 2017
1,523
1,446
Great news for stakeholders and terrible news for customers. Unfortunately vertical mergers aren’t viewed the same way as horizontal mergers like Charter and TWC (Spectrum). While the latter is usually worse they’re mostly never good.

Ever since that merger I’ve experienced more outages than ever before. I thought it didn’t get worse than TWC until Spectrum said hold my beer.
 

OldSchoolMacGuy

Suspended
Jul 10, 2008
4,197
9,049
Consolidation is almost always bad for the consumer. Less competition means less reason for them to keep prices low.

It makes no sense at all when you see MacRumors members happy about the potential of Sprint and T-Mobile merging. The result will be one less option for everyone. That very likely means INCREASED prices, not less. After a merger, companies generally have to cut the fat (which includes killing promotions and raising prices) in order to deal with the debt they take on during the merger/buyout process. If these two phone companies combine, you can nearly guarantee it'll mean higher prices for you, not lower.
 

vipergts2207

macrumors 68030
Apr 7, 2009
2,635
5,530
Columbus, OH
Actually, they do. When the justice department is doing what it is supposed to. When the justice department gets too political, then it becomes a problem.

I trust your google-fu will serve you well if you look into it. Just because you don't hear about it in the news all the time, doesn't mean that it doesn't happen. It happens quite regularly.

What happened to the banks and their CEOs after they collapsed the economy again? If they didn’t do anything about something of that magnitude, I certainly have no faith when it comes to this issue. Fines that are less than the company profited from the wrongdoing itself is also funny. That’s not a punishment, that’s just the government taking a cut.
 

rjohnstone

macrumors 68040
Dec 28, 2007
3,715
4,024
PHX, AZ.
I see a few here confusing Time Warner with TWC. AT&T is not buying another communication company.
They are expanding into content creation.
They already own a huge distribution network for mobile, cable, and satellite.
Now they can curate content.

Let's just hope they don't screw that up.
 
Next up: Disney/Fox and T-Mobile-Sprint. It’s going to be like this for at least a couple more years.

Rumor is that Comcast is moving on Fox if AT&T was approved. So Disney & Comcast may fight it out over Fox.

But yes, the big will get bigger, the rich will get richer and consumers will ultimately foot the big, big bill.
 
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