U.S. Department of Justice Files Appeal to Block AT&T and Time Warner Merger

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jul 12, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    A month after a judge approved AT&T's $85.4 billion purchase of Time Warner with no conditions, the United States Department of Justice has announced plans to appeal the merger's approval.

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    In a court document filed with the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, the DoJ announced its formal appeal. No additional data was included in the initial document.
    AT&T first announced its plan to purchase Time Warner in late 2017, but the acquisition was put on hold when the DoJ filed a lawsuit to put a stop to the merger based on the grounds that it would result in higher bills and fewer options for consumers.

    A judge in June, however, ruled that the merger was legal, and while the Justice Department said it was disappointed in the court's ruling and would consider its next steps "in light of [its] commitment to preserving competition for the benefit of American consumers," it ultimately decided not to interfere with a stay at the time that the ruling was announced.

    Just days after the judge's approval, AT&T completed its acquisition of Time Warner, but the DoJ is still able to appeal the decision even after the completion of the merger.

    Shortly after the acquisition, AT&T announced a new WatchTV service that offers AT&T wireless subscribers under the new "AT&T Unlimited &More" and "AT&T Unlimited &More Premium" plans access to more than 30 live channels and 15,000 TV shows and movies on demand. These new plans are more expensive than AT&T's previous unlimited wireless plans, but includes WatchTV. On a standalone basis, WatchTV is $15 per month.

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    While AT&T said that its prices would not increase following the merger, it raised prices on its DirecTV Now plans by $5. AT&T also recently raised its administrative fees for postpaid wireless subscribers to $1.99, which some analysts have speculated is to make up for the expense of the Time Warner purchase.

    Update: AT&T has released a statement on the DoJ's decision to appeal: "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 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."

    Article Link: U.S. Department of Justice Files Appeal to Block AT&T and Time Warner Merger
     
  2. KPandian1 macrumors 6502a

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    Wishful thinking - not just the Justice Department, all Americans.
     
  3. Wilburx3 macrumors member

    Wilburx3

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    #3
    AT&T also recently raised its administrative fees for postpaid wireless subscribers to $1.99, which some analysts have speculated is to make up for the expense of the Time Warner purchase.

    AT&T to its customers - thanks, suckers.
     
  4. seatton macrumors 6502a

    seatton

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    #4
    GREAT news.. it makes me have faith in the US government!
     
  5. gsmornot macrumors 68030

    gsmornot

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    So if, "Just days after the judge's approval, AT&T completed its acquisition of Time Warner, but the DoJ is still able to appeal the decision even after the completion of the merger."

    What do you do now. Its like, you can have the last bite and then later change your mind. The bite is gone.
     
  6. 212rikanmofo macrumors 65816

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    All this merging and acquisitions is part of the New World Order to take over the entire world. So corrupt that all these big corporations and government are controlled by the bankers of the world. I hope this deal doesn't go through. People need to do some research and get there news from independent sources instead of the mainstream media thats owned by these corrupt bankers that brainwashes people out there. We have a choice everyone. People need to wake up and realize what's going on in this world that the media doesn't you to know about.
     
  7. ArtOfWarfare macrumors G3

    ArtOfWarfare

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    This sounds unconstitutional to me... is this not Double Jeopardy? You can't take someone to court for the same thing twice.

    Edit: I've changed my mind. Initially it was more of a hypothetical "will this lead to a monopoly?" and now they have new evidence more along the lines of "this is a monopoly".
     
  8. orev macrumors 6502

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    I know this is really just about CNN, however it's pretty interesting to see they might be doing something right, or at least having the appearance of doing something right. AT&T was clearly bald-faced lying about the price increases, so maybe the government can use that to invalidate the other arguments AT&T made in court.
     
  9. OldSchoolMacGuy Suspended

    OldSchoolMacGuy

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    Double jeopardy only applies to individuals, not corporations.
     
  10. Kaibelf macrumors 68020

    Kaibelf

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    That reminds me, I haven’t watched Network in a while. Great movie, and made your exact argument over 40 years ago.
    --- Post Merged, Jul 12, 2018 ---
    If they really cared they would be looking toward the Comcast situation with Sky rather than this.
     
  11. euvnairb macrumors regular

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    I'm actually in agreement with this and I hope the DoJ wins. A company that creates content, distributes it, and is also a provider wields too much power IMO.
     
  12. KPandian1 macrumors 6502a

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    In case you haven't noticed, Apple and Samsung have been to court over the same crap multiple times appealing (jury) verdicts, a relevant example here. Such examples are numerous in not just the USA, but courts all over the world.
     
  13. ddurkee macrumors newbie

    ddurkee

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    #13
    And it only applies to criminal cases, not civil.
     
  14. JRobinsonJr macrumors 6502

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    Nor does it apply to appeals.
     
  15. Drumjim85 macrumors 68030

    Drumjim85

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    Court of Appeals for DC. Does this mean Brett Kavanaugh will be ruling on this?
     
  16. MhzDoesMatter macrumors regular

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  17. imola.zhp macrumors 6502a

    imola.zhp

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    #17
    Time Warner + ATT = TWATT

    Doesn’t affect me, I don’t do business with either company.
     
  18. sirwoodland macrumors member

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    That's right... someone in the DoJ is an HBO subscriber and doesn't want ATT to screw with their GoT.
     
  19. NMBob macrumors 6502a

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    I just watched it two nights ago. Again (and again and again...).
     
  20. rjohnstone macrumors 68040

    rjohnstone

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    #20
    This is no where near a monopoly. It was a vertical acquisition, not horizontal. AT&T did not buy another competitor.

    This is more like the Comcast acquisition of NBC Universal.
    The feds approved it with certain restrictions put in place.
    --- Post Merged, Jul 12, 2018 ---
    The series is ending this season and is supposedly already done filming.
     
  21. Kaibelf macrumors 68020

    Kaibelf

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    #21
    I highly doubt that. You never watch any of TW’s movies or shows? Ever?
     
  22. sinsin07 macrumors 68040

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    #22
    How long do your season’s run in your neck of the woods?
    It was announced in 2017 that the final season wouldn’t air until 2019.
    Internet search says April 2019.
     
  23. richardsonrs macrumors regular

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    #23

    They didn't say they wouldn't increase their service pricing. They said they wouldn't increase licensing fees for other providers blocking them from content they just bought. Prices go up and they always will. No corporation ever will say they won't raise prices.
     
  24. 2010mini macrumors 68040

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    #24
    You sure about that? Time Warner INC owns a lot content you watch. Not all of their holdings say “Time Warner” on it.
     
  25. DrKarl macrumors newbie

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    The government is screwing investors who held Time Warner in non-retirement (taxable) accounts by not objecting BEFORE the acquisition completed. I have never seen this happen before in this way.

    While DoJ could potentially succeed in unwinding the acquisition/merger ... they cannot unwind transactions that individual investors, mutual funds, and retirement advisors etc have made to compensate for the taxable gain generated by the conversion. A portion of the acquisition was cash, the rest a conversion to T shares. The cash portion - received a full month ago - is a taxable long term gain in general. Investors who later generated losses to offset that gain to avoid tax do not have the luxury of undoing those actions.

    Just a totally incompetent action by the DoJ to do this after the transaction completed, rather than immediately. I trust that they will fail, and get slapped on the wrist for not making a timely objection.
     

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