Justice Department Defies Judge To Appeal AT&T-Time Warner Merger Approval

As it turns out, The DOJ isn't ready to let a federal judge's decision to kill its challenge to the AT&T-Time Warner merger go unchallenged.

As a reminder, Judge Leon advised the government not to seek a stay of the ruling to prevent the DOJ from pushing the deal past its deadline, which was at that time only days away.

"The Government has failed to meet its burden of proof to show that the merger is likely to result in a substantial lessening of competition," he wrote in his ruling.

Furthermore, Leon declared that seeking a stay would be a "manifest injustice."

A month after the judge's ruling was handed down - and after the judge effectively warned the federal government not to appeal - the DOJ has done just that, reviving the federal government's fight to block the $85 billion 'vertical integration' deal, the Wall Street Journal reported.

As CNN reports, the case will now go to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, where a three-judge panel will hear the appeal.

In theory, the case could end up in front of the Supreme Court, something some people in the legal community have been hoping for, since the Supreme Court has not taken up a merger case since the 1970s.

David McAtee, AT&T's General Counsel exclaimed:

"The Court's decision could hardly have been more thorough, fact-based, and well-reasoned. 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."

The news sent shares of AT&T lower just under 2% in the after-market:

This is a 3-week low for AT&T

Investors will now be looking out for more information regarding what aspect of the judge's ruling the DOJ will choose to challenge.


vato poco Stuto Thu, 07/12/2018 - 16:38 Permalink

kneejerk reaction was something like 'fuckin gummint/DOJ bein' all uppity again', but ...

but what business does a supposedly impartial *judge* have telling one party of a case they should/should not take a legal action they have every right to take?

so now it's more like 'fuckin' judges bein' all uppity again ... '

In reply to by Stuto

any_mouse Agent P Thu, 07/12/2018 - 17:09 Permalink

Where was the concern over Bayer acquiring Monsanto?

In that box along with Social Security and concerns about GMO plants in the wild.

You'd think a US state that cares so much about the snail darter, an invasive species, would be all over natural grasses contaminated by GMO grasses. Where is the Sierra Club? Hollywood celebrities?

Oh wait, what am I thinking! They just use the snail darter, and illegal immigrants, for their parasitic purposes.

Theater of the Absurd.

In reply to by Agent P

monkeyshine 847328_3527 Thu, 07/12/2018 - 17:04 Permalink

The merger gives a near monopoly on coaxial and fiber optic communications. The courts broke up ATT 30 years ago for this very reason and amazing, ATT is back to having its monopoly!  If they want to merge and be a media company then they should be forced to divest and give up control of the coaxial cable and fiber optic transmission lines and let alternative carriers provide programming at market competitive rates.  

In reply to by 847328_3527

any_mouse monkeyshine Thu, 07/12/2018 - 17:32 Permalink

They broke up Standard Oil, owned by Rockefeller, into multiple Standard Oils, all owned by ... Rockefeller.

Shit show since Plymouth Rock.

Cut the cable. Give a fuck about Media. It has been owned by a select group, who may not be criticized, since forever.

USA Telcom went from just AT&T, to Verizon and AT&T.

Nuremberg show trials broke up IGFarben as "punishment" for the Third Reich.

Since then, IGFarben has reassembled itself, back into the same IGFarben of the Third Reich.

Acquiring USA Agribusiness, INC., in your face, as well.

Cannabis will now be decriminalized, and instead become regulated, now that MegaCorp is in a position to profit.

Bayer has had patented seeds. Bayer now has Monsanto. Agribusiness has a new crop and profit source.

Good bye independent growers. Joining independent food producers on the no longer necessary line.


In reply to by monkeyshine

GoozieCharlie any_mouse Thu, 07/12/2018 - 18:44 Permalink

Fiber optics, babe...that's not just TeeVee.  That's internet, too. 

When AT&T was forced to split up (although it only partly did, like temporarily) it was, nonetheless, the first time interstate long distance became cheap.  Intrastate long distance didn't, however, because each carrier had a monopoly on the areas it served within each state and those intrastate phone companies were not subject to the federal law.  They even hiked up the rates on "zone" calls - to the other side of metro areas.

I'm not interested in robbery like paying $35 extra for internet service if I don't sign up for cable TV - which is what Comcast (the only choice) does here.

Break it up - any which way you can.

In reply to by any_mouse

Mendax Thu, 07/12/2018 - 17:11 Permalink

The merger should not happen. We need more competition, not less. New las, cable TV providers can´t own channels, movie studios and similar contents.

GoldmanSax Thu, 07/12/2018 - 17:22 Permalink

Too big to fail. The robber Barron tradition is alive and well. Monopolies are not free trade when you use the governing apparatus to stomp your competition. 

Schooey Thu, 07/12/2018 - 22:54 Permalink

From a consumer point of view, my experience with TW has been stupefying bad. 

They had a cable monopoly when I moved here and were so horrible you could not actually believe it. Then FIOS came in, and in the face of competition TW actually got their act together. It was, however, short lived. After one great year of service they became "Spectrum" and the same old TW garbage service on all fronts. 

I'm just glad that soon I will never have to deal with TW again and if ATT  acquires them I can ditch ATT too.