U.S. Justice Department Files Lawsuit to Block Merger Between AT&T and Time Warner

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Nov 20, 2017.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    The United States Justice Department today filed a lawsuit to stop a planned merger between AT&T and Time Warner, reports Bloomberg. The DOJ believes such a merger would result in higher bills and fewer options for consumers.
    According to Bloomberg, this is the first time in several decades that the DOJ has sued to block a vertical deal, aka a merger between two companies that do not directly compete with one another. The lawsuit comes following a request from antitrust head Delrahim that the two companies sell either the Turner broadcasting unit or DirecTV, which AT&T refused to do.

    Given that the DOJ does not usually step in to block vertical deals, it is unclear how this legal battle will play out in court. Other similar deals, such as Comcast's purchase of NBC Universal, have gone through after certain conditions have been put in place.

    AT&T and Time Warner have been in talks over a merger since late 2016, with AT&T planning to shell out $85.4 billion for Time Warner.

    AT&T says the DOJ's lawsuit is a "radical and inexplicable departure from decades of antitrust precedent," and that it is confident the court will reject the claims and allow the merger to proceed.

    Apple at one time was rumored to be interested in a Time Warner purchase and was said to have monitored the deal between AT&T/Time Warner closely, but Apple ultimately had no interest in Time Warner or outbidding AT&T.

    Article Link: U.S. Justice Department Files Lawsuit to Block Merger Between AT&T and Time Warner
     
  2. zorinlynx macrumors 603

    zorinlynx

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    #2
    It's nice to see the administration do something pro-consumer for a change.
     
  3. budselectjr macrumors 6502a

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  4. blevins321 macrumors 68030

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    #4
    Nah, just anti-CNN.
     
  5. Sharkoneau macrumors 6502a

    Sharkoneau

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    #5
    Now if we can keep fighting for similar results regarding the imminent vote on Net Neutrality. That would be the biggest consumerism victory in memory.
     
  6. kpeex macrumors member

    kpeex

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    #6
    Unrelated perhaps, but still ironic in perspective of what Ajit Pai and the FCC have been up to this year.
     
  7. thadoggfather macrumors G4

    thadoggfather

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    #7
    A merger would not be good for consumers regardless of politics. imo

    And question- how is AT&T / Time Warner not happening an anti-CNN thing? i keep hearing that, how does it relate? im not up to speed
     
  8. budselectjr macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    Time Warner is CNN's parent company.
     
  9. mabhatter macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    It’s probably more about hurting Turner and the news companies it holds than actual anti-monopoly stance.

    That said. This is a disturbing trend in media consolidation. Disney bought a bunch of media properties lately as well as ABC and ESPN along with their respective broadcasting networks. As TV networks don’t “own” their stations it was a huge end-run of some of the standing FCC rules.

    Comcast bought NBC which again included a huge stable of networks and broadcast stations. Where Disney is a media company trying to lock down distributors, Comcast is a cable/ISP trying to get leverage with other media companies. But it sets an even more dangerous precedent with them owing mmedia creators AND the channel people connect to them.

    AT&T is just crazy huge already. Again, they’re an Wireless company AND ISP trying to be a cable company AND media creator. They bent a lot of rules to get Dish Network then turned around and played “shell games” with the FCC buying and selling smaller companies just after the settlement that seemed to go against the spirit of the previous rulings.

    I understand why they do it. Media is the biggest cost of running a cable company now. Big media consolidated to like five companies a decade ago.. they beat everyone in cable up on pricing... now cable companies each pay enough of their yearly budgets just to take the media companies over and have a down payment built in.

    We have to push back at some point because vertical monopolies are worse than horizontal ones... and that might be the game. Imagine the power they have when each ISP/Media/Wireless/broadcast provider has a solid monopoly one 1/5 of the country. They’re already fighting net neutrality from both sides as “overburdened ISP/Wireless” and as “pirate stricken media” companies. It’s a scary move.
     
  10. Xgm541 macrumors 65816

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    #10
    But now you can bundle Tv and internet and streaming to save $5 per month from the same company. Oh and also it doesnt go against your data usage!

    -ajit pai probably
     
  11. PinkyMacGodess macrumors 601

    PinkyMacGodess

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    #11
    This is a distraction on the Sinclair media takeover that trump's pick for the FCC has been rather quietly been working to make approvable by removing and tweaking any regulations that might stop it.

    Sinclair Broadcasting Group will control the eyes of the vast majority of American viewers, and be pumping their brand of conspiracy theories and outright lies into them as much as they can.

    People that think Fox News is hard right need to realize that Sinclair has frightened News Corp. They are growing afraid if being left for dead after Sinclair takes over.

    John Oliver on Sinclair Broadcasting Group
    --- Post Merged, Nov 20, 2017 ---
    You think that trump and his hand picked FCC head will allow a vote by the people on Net Neutrality? And you think will make a difference? Sinclair, Fox News, and all the usual outlets of outright lies will not allow the people to know how they are being sold down the river by that disaster. Nope...

    People were more up in arms about the fake rumors that there would be an 'internet sales tax' than they will be about 'net neutrality'.

    I explained it to a few people who had no clue, and they were furious, but otherwise had nothing good to say in the subject. The industry sees MONEY, they will HAVE their money, having to lie and obfuscate won't stop them
     
  12. noraa macrumors regular

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    #12
    While I’m all for blocking this merger (and most big company mergers for that matter), the reasoning for the DOJ’s lawsuit is less the pro-consumer to say the least. The lawsuit is essentially about trying to shut down CNN. With that being said, regardless of the underlying reason(s), I would be happy to see this merger fail.

    I still hate this current administration.
     
  13. 2010mini macrumors 68040

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  14. Sharkoneau macrumors 6502a

    Sharkoneau

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    Oh no, definitely not a general public vote on Net Neutrality; I was alluding to the FCC's vote to upend or uphold it, the intention clearly being the former. There's no way Pai, who is in bed with the telecom industry and a Republican himself, will make a consumer-minded decision.

    All we've been able to do is call our representatives, rally behind various organizations, and pester "public servants" in general to resist coming change. This includes written letters and email blasts, which have been met with poor reception by (R) reps.

    I also suspect there is a massive generational gap in opinion, or at least understanding, here. Those who grew up without internet (grandparents, even aunts and uncles) likely have no idea of this. Moreover, they're less likely to care - technology and internet adoption overall is much less common within that demographic. Parents and younger people? Those will be the most outraged, many undoubtedly blindsided.
     
  15. Mac 128 macrumors 603

    Mac 128

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    Trump's petty little vindictiveness against CNN will backfire on Sinclair/Tribune, which actually DOES stifle competition in the local markets.
     
  16. spiddyman007 macrumors regular

    spiddyman007

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    #16
    we better get radio chips in future iPhone and iPads too, thanks fcc. ur doin good. pressure these people
     
  17. ericg301 macrumors 65816

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    #17
    What about the AT&T product placement that’s already in Justice League?
     
  18. justint1989 macrumors member

    justint1989

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    #18
    Glad to see it fall through. I loathe AT&T as a company. It’s bad enough they bought DirecTV and zero rate their content being streamed. I switched my internet over to Spectrum as I couldn’t stomach paying AT&T any more money. The pain of being an early adopter of the iPhone, being chained to AT&T for 5 years was bad enough. As soon as Apple went multi carrier I left for hills!
     
  19. Digital Dude, Nov 20, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2017

    Digital Dude macrumors 6502

    Digital Dude

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    #19
    There has to more to this story than what is currently available. It doesn't make sense the DOJ would step in like this unless they were on firm ground.

    Sidebar: I'm not all impressed with ATT or Spectrum aka TW, so sue away.
     
  20. Kaibelf Suspended

    Kaibelf

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    #20
    It didn’t fall through and it’s unlikely that this move to block would win in court. AT&T can provide a mountain of examples where others have been allowed to do this very thing as well as conflicting messages where the current admin is allowing everyone else to consolidate.
     
  21. ke-iron macrumors 65816

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    #21
    The current president of the US has voiced many times on air how he hates fake news like CNN. He also voiced about challenging licenses of the free press. He also said the media is the “enemy of the American people” There are many more things he said on many occasions about how he feels about the press or CNN specifically, or any news outlet that writes something negative about him.

    Trump doesn’t like CNN. Now you’re up to speed.
     
  22. tito2020 macrumors 6502a

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    #22
    If time warner is looking tosell means mot likley they will go out of buisness and have even higher bills once they sell the pieces of the empire
    --- Post Merged, Nov 20, 2017 ---
    either way the bills will go up doesnt matter who wins the consumer loses
     
  23. Pman17 macrumors regular

    Pman17

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    #23
    If they block the merger they should break up Comcast too as Comcast owns NBC Universal.
     
  24. dominiongamma macrumors 65816

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    #24
    Att needs to go away because most people are against this merger then for it.
     
  25. ke-iron macrumors 65816

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    #25
    It’s very important to know what’s going on in your country, assuming you live in America. This has nothing to do with monopolies, it has everything to do with trump hating CNN.
     

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