Skip to main content

The U.S. Justice Department is appealing the AT&T and Time Warner deal [Update]

Updated July 13, 2018: AT&T already has something to say about the DOJ's appeal. Per the carrier: "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 that 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."

Not even a month after AT&T purchased Time Warner for $85 billion, the U.S. Justice Department is now appealing the deal.

A court document was filed on Thursday, July 12, confirming the news. The appeal is being led by District Court Judge Richard Leon.

Per CNBC, Leon noted in his 200-page appeal filing that "the government failed to meet its burden to establish that the deal would significantly decrease competition."

On June 15, AT&T officially completed its purchase of Time Warner following months of debating the acquisition in court. Time Warner owns major brands such as HBO, DC, and Turner, and commenting on the completing of the deal, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said —

We're going to bring a fresh approach to how the media and entertainment industry works for consumers, content creators, distributors, and advertisers.

The court's decision to let AT&T and Time Warner go through this agreement was seen as a controversial move by many, so it'll be fascinating to see where the next steps of the appeal process take us.

What do you think about this development?

AT&T has officially purchased Time Warner for $85 billion

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.

  • Why is this such a big deal? I'm not being sarcastic I'm really trying to figure out what bad thing is being predicted that they are trying to prevent
  • Agree, media and entertainment industry is not a necessity.
  • Anti trust and Monopoly laws were never put in place to address "necessities" , so I don't know what are you talking about. It's about leveled playing field in any market.
  • I think the issue is AT&T flat out lied during the first court hearing. They said the price of services would go down, and once the merger went through they raised the price of DirecTV Now and tripled their "administrative fee". Not to mention they were going to be "hands off" with HBO and now that's not going to happen. I don't necessarily have an issue with them merging, but I do have an issue with the fact that they were allowed to merge with literally no conditions which is unheard of.
  • Well these Large companies combining create a monopoly that is bad for consumers, and bad for competition from other smaller companies. Anti Monopoly Laws exist in this country, and its important for the free market that they are enforced. For example...imagine if there was only 1 phone company. They could charge people whatever they wanted because there is zero competition.
  • Something like 6 companies control all of the media in America, so how's that not a monopoly?
  • "Mono..." & 6 is how
  • You have 1 Cable provider, one FIOS and 2 Satellite providers in any given market. You have a choice AND competition, therefore, it's not a monopoly.
  • I'm surprised that the David Dennison administration is suing to block the deal. This is a bad omen for the sprint tmobile deal.
  • Bullseye. That deal was just before the subcommittee, I doubt it will reach any further.
    I had high hopes it would get sent through.
    One last hope. Donald J Trump wants 5g up and running to keep up with China. TMob merger would have done just that in about a year.
  • Plethora of possible anti competitive actions. Nobody says they will do it , but leaves a lot of room for it.
  • Is a big deal because as soon as they bought time warner they started raising prices on some of their bundles and charging or raising prices on unnecessary fees.
    Is not like we didn't know this would happen. ATNT has a bad rep for lying to consumers
  • I think some editing is in order: Leon was the judge overseeing the merger approval and allowing the merger to proceed without condition and he is not the appealing party. I wouldn't think any judge could initiate or lead an appeal acting from the bench, it would have to come from one of the participants in the proceedings. The DoJ in this case is the party appealing Judge Leon's approval. Although, since the DoJ initially declined to ask for a delay in the merger, I can't think their rationale to seek an appeal after the merger would have much substance, short of incriminating bad faith actions newly brought to light by ATT or TW.
  • Yeah, I had to read that 2x also. Was like huh...
  • It's suppose to read "Leon's 200 page opinion", as part of the original ruling.
  • I had to reread that part a few times too, it was factually incorrect.
  • So when a court appeals a business decision, How much more do the lawyers make?