The DOJ has filed a notice of appeal against the federal judge’s verdict favoring AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner. Reportedly, the Justice Department in its filing with the United States Court of Appeals for District of Columbia Circuit has requested the latter to review the Senior U.S. District Judge’s ruling in favor of AT& T- Time Warner merger deal last month.
Sources cite that on June 12, Richard J. Leon, the Senior U.S. District Judge, had rejected the government’s arguments and given the green signal for AT&T and Time Warner merger agreement. For the record, in November last year, DOJ had filed litigation against the merger deal in the District Court stating that the move will facilitate AT&T owned DirecTV to force its business rivals pay more for Time Warner-owned Turner networks, thereby leading to rise in consumer costs.
The Justice Department had further claimed that the merged entity can restrict DirecTV’s competitors from using HBO as an advertising tool. It further argued that the deal will encourage the combined organization to collaborate with Comcast-NBCUniversal for expanding its digital streaming services.
However, Leon dismissed the claims of the DOJ and declared that he did not find any adequate evidence which proves that the merger will lead to increased costs for both consumers as well as distributors. The U.S. District Judge further emphasized that the merger will help AT&T’s customers save nearly USD 350 million as a part of their annual cost savings.
On other hand, DOJ has decided not to challenge the USD 69 billion merger deal between CVS Pharmacy & Aetna Inc. Reportedly, last year, the federal judge had blocked a USD 37 billion Aetna–Humana Inc. merger after DOJ stated that the pact harmed consumer interests.
Jason Quick is the lead editor for Alabama Post Gazette. Jason has been working as a freelance journalist for nearly a decade having published stories in many print and digital publications including, The Birmingham News and Tuscaloosa News. Jason is based in Birmingham and covers issues affecting his city and his country. When he’s not busy writing, Jason enjoys skiing and painting..