time warner attThe 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.

"This merger would greatly harm American consumers. It would mean higher monthly television bills and fewer of the new, emerging innovative options that consumers are beginning to enjoy," said Makan Delrahim, the head of the department's antitrust division.

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.

Top Rated Comments

blevins321 Avatar
45 months ago
It's nice to see the administration do something pro-consumer for a change.
Nah, just anti-CNN.
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
zorinlynx Avatar
45 months ago
It's nice to see the administration do something pro-consumer for a change.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
PinkyMacGodess Avatar
45 months ago
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 ('//www.youtube.com/watch?v=GvtNyOzGogc')
[doublepost=1511221118][/doublepost]
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.
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
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
2010mini Avatar
45 months ago
It's nice to see the administration do something pro-consumer for a change.
BS

The DOJ wants AT&T to sell CNN. AT&T refuses so they did this.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.cnbc.com/amp/2017/11/08/doj-demands-cnn-or-directv-be-sold-as-condition-for-att-time-warner-deal-approval.html

Guess all that “fake news” is too much for this administration’s delicate feeling.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Sharkoneau Avatar
45 months ago
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.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mabhatter Avatar
45 months ago
It's nice to see the administration do something pro-consumer for a change.
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.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

april 2021 event coverage feature

Apple Event Live Coverage: New iPads, AirTags, and More Expected [Event Over]

Tuesday April 20, 2021 9:07 am PDT by
Apple's virtual "Spring Loaded" event kicks off today at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time, with Apple expected to debut updated iPad models and perhaps some other hardware such as AirTags or iMac models based on Apple silicon. Apple is providing a live video stream on its website, on YouTube, and in the company's TV app across its platforms. We will also be updating this article with live blog...
m1 imac colors

Apple Announces Redesigned iMac With M1 Chip and Seven Color Options

Tuesday April 20, 2021 10:22 am PDT by
Apple has announced a new, redesigned 24-inch iMac, featuring an M1 chip, a 4.5K display, and a range of color options, as well as an improved cooling system, front-facing camera, speaker system, microphones, power connector, and peripherals. The new iMac features a completely new compact design, and comes in a range of seven striking colors, including green, yellow, orange, pink, purple,...
Ports 2021 MacBook Pro Mockup Feature 1 copy

Stolen MacBook Pro Schematics Confirm Apple's Plans to Add More Ports and Remove Touch Bar

Wednesday April 21, 2021 10:31 am PDT by
Schematics stolen from Apple supplier Quanta Computer outline Apple's plans for the next-generation MacBook Pro models that are expected in 2021, and clearly confirm plans for additional ports and a return to MagSafe. MacRumors saw the schematics after they were leaked online, and some of them feature the logic board of the next-generation MacBook Pro. On the right side of the machine,...
iphone 12 preorder purple

Apple Launching iPhone 12 and 12 Mini in New Purple Color on April 30

Tuesday April 20, 2021 10:08 am PDT by
Apple today announced that the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini will be available in a new purple color starting April 30, with pre-orders starting this Friday. Apple is also releasing a new MagSafe Leather Case and Leather Sleeve in Deep Violet, a Silicone Case in Capri Blue, Pistachio, Cantaloupe, or Amethyst, and a Leather Wallet in Arizona, all available to order beginning today. iPhone...
13 inch macbook pro m1

14-Inch and 16-Inch MacBook Pro Models With XDR Displays Expected to Launch Later This Year

Wednesday April 21, 2021 7:08 am PDT by
Apple yesterday unveiled a new 12.9-inch iPad Pro with a Liquid Retina XDR display that uses mini-LED backlighting to achieve up to 1,000 nits of full-screen brightness and up to 1,600 nits of peak brightness. With over 10,000 mini‑LEDs grouped into more than 2,500 local dimming zones, the display also has an impressive 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio. Apple has so far branded its mini-LED...
14

Apple Says iOS 14.5 Will Be Released 'Next Week'

Tuesday April 20, 2021 11:08 am PDT by
Apple today in a press release about its new AirTag item tracker announced that iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 will be available starting "next week." iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 are packed with new features, including the ability for iPhone users who are wearing an Apple Watch to unlock the iPhone with Face ID while wearing a mask. iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 will also be the minimum software versions...
ipad pro with m1 chip

Apple Introduces Next-Generation iPad Pro With M1 Chip, Thunderbolt, 5G, XDR Display, and More

Tuesday April 20, 2021 10:40 am PDT by
Apple today announced the next-generation iPad Pro with the same M1 chip found in the latest Macs, Thunderbolt and USB4 support, 5G connectivity on cellular models with mmWave support in the United States, and more. With an 8-core CPU and 8-core GPU, Apple says the M1 chip in the new iPad Pro provides up to 50% faster performance and up to 40% faster graphics compared to the A12Z Bionic chip ...
f1618938547

Apple Announces AirTag Tracking Devices Starting At $29 Each

Tuesday April 20, 2021 10:10 am PDT by
Apple today announced AirTag, a Tile-like Bluetooth tracking device that's designed to be attached to items like keys and wallets for tracking purposes, letting you find them right in the Find My app. AirTags are accessories for attaching to backpacks, luggage, and other items. Any U1 device like the iPhone 12 can be used for precision finding to guide you right to the item you're looking...
airtag engraving 69

Apple Tries to Limit Offensive AirTag Engravings... With Mixed Results

Wednesday April 21, 2021 3:16 am PDT by
Apple's AirTag item trackers can be custom-engraved using text, numbers, and even emoji, but users looking to express some college humor will likely need to look elsewhere, because Apple's online AirTag personalization tool is easily offended. An AirTag is just big enough to fit up to four characters or up to three emoji. That might seem just enough to get dubiously creative with your...
maxresdefault

Apple Event 2021: Everything Apple Announced at Its 'Spring Loaded' Event in Just 6 Minutes

Tuesday April 20, 2021 4:23 pm PDT by
Apple today held its first event of 2021, and it was one of the most exciting events that we've seen in some time. Apple announced a whole slew of new products, including an M1 iMac, an M1 iPad Pro, a refreshed 4K Apple TV, and the long-awaited AirTags. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. It took Apple an hour to introduce all of the new devices during its virtual...