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US moves to block AT&T's $85.4bn takeover of Time Warner

From BBC - November 20, 2017

The US Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit to block telecoms giant AT&T's $85.4bn acquisition of Time Warner, the owner of CNN and HBO.

The decision is a surprise since US anti-trust authorities rarely object to deals involving companies that do not directly compete.

AT&T has said it will fight the decision.

US President Donald Trump objected to the deal during his campaign last year.

AT&T's general counsel David McAfee said: "Today's DOJ lawsuit is a radical and inexplicable departure from decades of antitrust precedent.

"Vertical mergers like this one are routinely approved because they benefit consumers without removing any competitor from the market. We see no legitimate reason for our merger to be treated differently."

Mr McAfee added: "We are confident that the court will reject the government's claims and permit this merger under longstanding legal precedent."

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