Trump's Revenge: DOJ Demands CNN Sale To Approve AT&T Deal; CEO Denies Offering Sale

Tyler Durden's picture

Update 2: The plot thickens. As The Hill reports, AT&T and Time Warner offered to divest CNN, however the DOJ Antitrust Division flatly rejected the proposal, Justice Department sources said. But AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said in a statement Wednesday afternoon that he was not entertaining the idea of selling CNN from the combined company:

“Until now, we’ve never commented on our discussions with the DOJ," Stephenson said. "But given DOJ’s statement this afternoon, it’s important to set the record straight. Throughout this process, I have never offered to sell CNN and have no intention of doing so.”

Earlier Bloomberg also reported that AT&T offered to sell CNN (which was rejected by the government), while another person said the Justice Department brought up the idea of divesting either DirecTV, the satellite provider, or Turner Broadcasting, which includes CNN, TNT and TBS.

As Bloomberg notes, the conflicting views highlight just how far apart the two sides are in getting a deal done and the risk that talks could hit an impasse. Without an agreement, the Justice Department would sue to block the merger, as soon as next week, one Bloomberg source said. The agency is concerned that AT&T’s ownership of Time Warner content could raise the costs of its pay-TV rivals, according to one of the people.

Bloomberg aldo adds that it’s not clear if AT&T would be willing to part with anything it’s acquiring from Time Warner. The company has said it considers CNN, the news network that has been a lightning rod for President Donald Trump, a prize asset, and the company also considers properties such as the Warner Bros. studio, HBO, TNT and TBS essential, people familiar with the matter said.

* * *

Update: Fox News is reporting that CBS has expressed some interest in buying CNN.

* * *

After the DOJ's antitrust division let it be known that it was preparing to file an antitrust lawsuit to block the AT&T-Time Warner merger, something that President Donald Trump famously insinuated might happen during the campaign, it appears a week of rushed negotiations with the DOJ and the two companies has yielded a compromise.

And unsurprisingly, the DOJ is requesting that Time Warner sell CNN - the network that Trump has repeatedly bashed and labeled as "fake news" - as part of a deal that would allow the merger to move forward, the Financial Times reported. However, that isn't the only condition; the DOJ is apparently taking a hard line with the merger, in accordance with Trump's publicly expressed wishes.

AT&T has been told by the US Department of Justice that it needs to sell CNN, Time Warner’s cable news channel, to get its $84.5bn acquisition of the media company approved, according to three people with direct knowledge of the negotiations.


The sale of CNN, which President Donald Trump has fiercely criticised as “fake news”, is just one of the demands being made by the US antitrust authority in order to sign off on the deal, those involved in the talks said. But it could prove a stumbling block. 


AT&T is opposed to selling the TV network and is preparing to take the Trump administration to court, arguing the deal with Time Warner does not pose any competition violations.


“It’s all about CNN,” said one person with direct knowledge of the talks between the company and the DOJ, adding that the regulator made it clear to AT&T that if it sold CNN the deal would go through.

As recently as a week ago, the two companies said they still expected the merger to close despite reports of DOJ's opposition. Their expected timeline had the deal closing by year-end. But John Stephens, AT&T's chief financial officer, told a New York investor conference on Wednsday that "the closing of the deal is now uncertain," which sent Time Warner shares tumbled and AT&T shares moving higher. Similars moves played out Wednesday after news about the deal's conditions broke.

Trump isn't the only one who's raised his hackles about the deal. Consumer groups, wary of the consolidation of content creators and distribution networks, had advocated that Time Warner spin off CNN. One CNBC commentator speculated that selling CNN wouldn't be a problem for AT&T because it's not the core asset that the mobile provider wanted out of the deal.

The conditions represent a change of heart fo Makan Delrahim, the new head of the justice department’s antitrust division, who has been more conciliatory, saying before taking office that he did not believe the merger posed a “major antitrust problem”.

“The sheer size of it, and the fact that it’s media, I think will get a lot of attention,” Mr Delrahim told a Canadian TV station in 2016 after the AT&T deal with Time Warner was announced. “However, I don’t see this as a major antitrust problem."

People with direct knowledge of the antitrust negotiations confirmed to the FT that Delrahim had changed his view since taking office. The deal was originally set to expire last month but AT&T last week extended its termination deadline “for a short period” while it waited for approval from US regulators.

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warpigs's picture

I fucking love it!

Juggernaut x2's picture

But (((Disney))) will be okay to vacuum up everything under the sun

Not Too Important's picture


Search 'Elsagate', and be prepared to vomit.

loebster's picture

Trump's Revenge or Trump Being A Dictator?

Wonder where he got that from.

AllTimeWhys's picture

Surprised AT&T is resisting, it's not like anything of value would be lost... ;)

RAT005's picture

If it's too big for the merger, how does selling CNN help?  I thought they were worthless with no viewers?  Fake news for sure!!

El Oregonian's picture

Put a fork in that wretched thing. It is beyond putrefied...

AldousHuxley's picture


There is a lot of dirt on Hollywierdos in there.


zerohedge should merge with them and cross polinate....


tmosley's picture

Everyone remember to boycott any company that buys CNN.

carbonmutant's picture

I think that's the problem.
Nobody's gonna pay anywhere near what AT&T thinks CNN is worth.

Endgame Napoleon's picture

Maybe, Bezos will buy it if he gets a discount for buying the Corporate News Network with Bitcoins.

SixIsNinE's picture

you aren't considering the hidden value of the "lemon special" - netting at least $10 bucks per trick - lines backed up in Broadway & Sepulveda Blvd.

hey, $10 bucks here, $10 bucks there, pretty soon, Lemon has no teeth, and the Benjamins add up !

purplelama's picture

No more YouTube for my kids.  Thanks.  Now I will feel sick.  There is an exhaustive subreddit on the subject.

East Indian's picture

These fellows need to be caught and interrogated. Without mercy. This will undermine our very humanity itself. 

Snípéir_Ag_Obair's picture

As long as Jews control the news...

you'll have war and debt.

Until Jacob's yoke is broken...

Jewish doctrine vowing to indebt, enslave and murder non-Jews has been staring us in the face for centuries
"For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth." -- Deuteronomy 7:6

"For the LORD thy God blesseth thee, as he promised thee: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, but thou shalt not borrow; and thou shalt reign over many nations, but they shall not reign over thee." -- Deuteronomy 15:6

"Unto a stranger thou mayest lend upon usury; but unto thy brother thou shalt not lend upon usury: that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all that thou settest thine hand to in the land whither thou goest to possess it." -- Deuteronomy, 23:20


"The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.

2 The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.

3 Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth.

4 The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.

5 The Lord at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath.

6 He shall judge among the heathen, he shall fill the places with the dead bodies; he shall wound the heads over many countries. -- Psalm 110:1-6


"And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them:" -- Deuteronomy 7:2


"The mashiach [Jewish messiah] will bring about the political and spiritual redemption of the Jewish people by bringing us back to Israel and restoring Jerusalem (Isaiah 11:11-12; Jeremiah 23:8; 30:3; Hosea 3:4-5). He will establish a government in Israel that will be the center of all world government, both for Jews and gentiles (Isaiah 2:2-4; 11:10; 42:1). He will rebuild the Temple and re-establish its worship (Jeremiah 33:18). He will restore the religious court system of Israel and establish Jewish law as the law of the land (Jeremiah 33:15)...The world after the messiah comes is often referred to in Jewish literature as Olam Ha-Ba (oh-LAHM hah-BAH), the World to Come...In the Olam Ha-Ba, the whole world will recognize the Jewish G-d as the only true G-d, and the Jewish religion as the only true religion (Isaiah 2:3; 11:10; Micah 4:2-3; Zechariah 14:9)." -- From "Mashiach: The Messiah", Judaism 101


"8 He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth.

9 They that dwell in the wilderness shall bow before him; and his enemies shall lick the dust.

10 The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents: the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts.

11 Yea, all kings shall fall down before him: all nations shall serve him." -- Psalm 72:8-11


"With the exception of the USSR as a federated Eurasian state, all other continents will become united in a world alliance, at whose disposal will be an international police force. All armies will be abolished, and there will be no more wars. In Jerusalem, the United Nations (a truly United Nations) will build a Shrine of the Prophets to serve the federated union of all continents; this will be the seat of the Supreme Court of Mankind, to settle all controversies among the federated continents, as prophesied by Isaiah." -- David Ben-Gurion, first Prime Minister of the Jewish State of Israel

SixIsNinE's picture

so what happens when there are no non-joos around?

hereby Trumpus Maximus declares upon XO 12323 :
heretofore and all forwarding times, all US citizens are Joos, for all practical purposes - and henceforth no usurous fees, taxes, surcharges, etc. etc., shall ever be levied upon our fellow Joos.


Not Too Important's picture

Steve Mnuchin is up to his eyeballs in this crap...

The real reason the deal has turned to shit:

The answers are in the comments...


And something else that's rearing its' ugly head again - The Island Of Pedophilia:


The Island Of Pedophilia, Part 2:


And then there's the alternate 'Pedo Island' in Mexico:


Whoever started the war on Weinstein has gone nuclear.

Buck Johnson's picture

Thank you for this, explains alot truly alot.


SilverRhino's picture

  • Prince Andrew 
  • Anderson Cooper 
  • Brian Singer

Next up on the PERVS of Planet Earth

Mr.BlingBling's picture

NTI, those are amazing links. Thanks!!!

Snípéir_Ag_Obair's picture

excellent article in the federalist a few months back on CNN's fuckery

What's truly amazing is, given CNN's Cal Ripken-like streak of errors and lies, why anyone with a triple digit IQ takes them even a little seriously.

Also - sooooo many Jews. Why doesn't 'diversity' also mean a tiny minority should not be MASSIVELY over-represented?

Seriously, maaaaan

LASTLY: For anyone who listens/watches Mike Rivero's show (4-7 ET) why not listen and perhaps call in today?

Last Chump should call in for sure.

SixIsNinE's picture

it is called hypnosis with a strong dose of STockholm Syndrome - combined with the parallel dumbing down effects of the rest of the fakestream hucksterisms and the contaminants in the water & food & air supplies, one would almost want to pity and have empathy for the little cucked non news network tards....

but then there comes a time when the sick mangled rabid dogs have to be taken to the human society.

chubbar's picture

If CBS were to buy CNN, wouldn't that make it the world's biggest fake news site???? I think that would be an anti-trust concern for the DOJ as well.

Endgame Napoleon's picture

If Wal*Mart bought the Corporate News Network, it would be the biggest promoter of Chinese-made products in the world, with a media wing and a retail wing.

spaniel's picture

Yeah, but who will buy CNN ?

Maybe, the new owner will whip it into shape?

bpgnp210's picture

So today ZH's commenters like big government.  Got it.

Wannabe_Oracle's picture

"So today ZH's commenters like big government".


Not at all -- but I do loathe CNN. ./

bpgnp210's picture

I'll bite.  What news sources do you prefer?  Lemme guess, Infowars?

Consuelo's picture



Occassional sensationalism and egotism aside for a moment...

Do you realize just how many 'kooky' topics Infowars has brought up over the years, have turned out to be quite factual...?  

bluez's picture

No sensationalism at Infowars. None that I can see. Nope. /s

francis_the_wonder_hamster's picture

Big Gov't is a problem.  Huge monopolistic corporations are a problem.  When they are in bed together, you've got a really big problem (sometimes known as fascism).  This is a good thing.  

Now, how about a little consistency in regards to anti-trust regulation.  Does Amazon really need to be putting grocery stores out of business?

Omen IV's picture

Obama did something similar with GE on NBC / MSNBC - in terms of making demands - which is how Sharpton got on TV as advocate for Obama and that woman Reid

Endgame Napoleon's picture

Big Government plus Big, Government-Backed Corporations equals massive, globalist riches for a few Big Fish and less small business opportunities for the little minnows.

Ajax-1's picture


Bigly's picture

Too much winning

(Never too much)

IH8OBAMA's picture

Why don't they just disolve CNN? It does nothing but spread political lies anymore anyway.

Bush Baby's picture

CNN has a huge presence globally , and they are doing their best to turn the world against Trump

spaniel's picture

Thats right, CNN is nothing but a propaganda machine.....I wonder vwhat laws are on the books that can be enforced against the "purveyoys of propaganda"?

rosiescenario's picture

....and how about the taxpayer funded NPR?????? Hard to do but they are even more stomach turning than CNN.

Endgame Napoleon's picture

Ted Turner was a big globalist, but CNN had better quality control when he—the individual named Ted Turner—owned it instead of a big ole mega corporation.

Cynicles II's picture

Parady new site. 

That's the required label. Could simply withdraw their broadcast license.

rosiescenario's picture

It should be sold to RT since all CNN wants to discuss is Russia. Perhaps the management at RT could restore some level of trust in what CNN passes off as "news".

jamesmmu's picture

CNN Directed Employees to Discredit Donna Brazile – Anchors go off same talking point after former DNC chair exposed Hillary


Bush Baby's picture

No shit, every news station spout the same Democratic talking point at the same time, it's a comedy act.

Latest buzzword is "Opposition Research" / "Brazile is a little crazy"