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Judge rejects government efforts to block AT&T, Time Warner deal

Joe Mont | June 13, 2018

After months of legal sniping and a six-week trial, a federal judge has approved AT&T’s $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner.

The deal, combining two media powerhouses into one giant, is expected to trigger a similar wave of media company mergers.

In his June 12 opinion, Judge Richard Leon of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia rejected the government’s notion that the deal was a violation of anti-trust law and suggested that the merger was a not-unreasonable move to buffer the challenges of a rapidly changing business space.

The deal, considered a “vertical merger,” because it brings together, in broad terms, a supplier and distributor means that Time Warner properties, including HBO, CNN, and Warner Bros., and Time Warner's other brands will become part of AT&T’s distribution system of smartphones and satellite networks, including DirecTV.

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