Donald Trump

(Credit: AP/Evan Vucci)

UPDATE 11/20: CNN’s Brian Stelter and several others are reporting that the Justice Department will file a lawsuit to block AT&T’s takeover of Time Warner.

Did President Donald Trump torpedo AT&T’s purchase of Time Warner as part of an ongoing feud with Time Warner subsidiary CNN? At this point, it almost doesn’t matter. The fact that the question can be raised shows that the damage to the press and to the political system has already been done.

Announced just over a year ago, the $85.4 billion deal would create a media and telecommunications goliath, marrying Time Warner’s film and television studio and popular cable TV offerings including HBO to AT&T’s massive holdings in satellite television, telephone, cellular, and broadband. The resulting company would be larger than Disney or Comcast Corp.

If, that is, the deal goes through. This afternoon, several media outlets reported that the Justice Department is planning to block the merger on antitrust grounds, unless either Time Warner agrees to spin off Turner Broadcasting, the bundle of cable channels that includes CNN, or AT&T sells its satellite television subsidiary DirectTV.

The reported requirement has led some …read more


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