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emfizz.com November 21, 2017


AT&T may have to sell CNN to merge with Time Warner

12 November 2017, 01:53 | Anna Nguyen

Rupert Murdoch 'interested in buying CNN' after reports Trump administration may force AT&T to sell it

Government's holdup of AT&T's acquisition of Time Warner worries some

"I didn't make that decision", Trump told reporters, The Washington Post reported.

In the run-up to last year's election he vowed that as president his Justice Department would block AT&T's purchase of Time Warner.

Justice Department staff recommended that AT&T sell either its DirecTV unit or Time Warner's Turner Broadcasting unit, which includes news company CNN, a government official told Reuters on Thursday, on the grounds that a combined company would raise costs for rival entertainment distributors and stifle innovation.

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said in a statement, "I have never offered to sell CNN and have no intention of doing so".

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There are many fine reasons for the Department of Justice to act against the impending $85 billion merger of AT&T and Time Warner. Delrahim, who supported Trump during the campaign and served nine months as a White House lawyer, is responsible for overseeing the AT&T transaction.

Delrahim has said he prefers "structural" changes to a deal, like selling off assets, rather than having the government monitor a company's promises to abide by certain conditions, as was done with Comcast. The Department of Justice said it does not comment on pending investigations, but that it was "committed to carrying out its duties in accordance with the laws and the facts".

Some US commentators claim president Donald Trump - a severe critic of CNN - is behind the DoJ's alleged demands. "We'll see how it all plays out", Trump said aboard Air Force One, according to the White House's official transcript of the exchange. Then he added: "I do feel you should have as many news outlets as you can - especially since so many are fake".

The newspaper's source in the White House said that this was meant merely as a joke and Kushner did not mean to be taken seriously. "DOJ will say, 'Hey, we are a strong cop on the beat.' And everyone walks away happy".



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