The U.S. Department of Justice has filed to appeal a federal judge’s decision to approve AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner.
Back when he was campaigning for the presidency, Donald Trump said his administration would block the deal, and indeed, the DOJ sued to stop the merger, arguing it would hurt competition.
Last month, however, U.S. District Court Judge Richard J. Leon ruled that the deal could move forward without conditions. He said from the bench, “The court has now spoken. … The defendants have won” — and the deal closed later that week.
In fact, we’re already starting to see some of the fallout, with AT&T’s reported plans for Time Warner-owned HBO leading to a flurry of worried headlines in just the past couple days.
The deal also seemed to set the stage for even more consolidation between telecom and media companies, leading Comcast to challenge Disney for ownership of Fox’s film and TV assets. (TechCrunch was already a very small part of this trend, since we’re owned by Verizon.)
“The Court’s decision could hardly have been more thorough, fact-based, and well-reasoned,” said AT&T General Counsel David McAtee in a statement. “While the losing party in litigation always has the right to appeal if it wishes, we are surprised that the DOJ has chosen to do so under these circumstances. We are ready to defend the Court’s decision at the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.”