Tuesday, June 12 was a big day for AT&T, whose team landed a sweeping victory in court.
His ruling was due to the government’s failure to prove the prospective deal violates antitrust law.
Not only did he give his ruling, he quite honestly ripped apart the case in doing so. AT&T has vocally celebrated the ruling and put out a statement that they expect the $85 billion deal to close in less than 10 days.
What does this mean for the telecom company? They will acquire Time Warner’s many brands as well as HBO, CNN, and Warner Brothers. All those TV shows and movies will be matched with the large distribution company that AT&T holds.
Former Justice Department antitrust attorney Ketan Jhaveri said, “It does seem to be a complete and total victory for AT&T.”
While Time Warner put out a statement aimed at President Trump, saying the government’s lawsuit was baseless, “political in its motivation,” and should not have been initiated, both the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the White House have denied political motivation or involvement in the case.
The Justice Department’s case was based on the argument that such a merger is bad for business, that it would likely harm competition and raise prices for customers of the service.
Unfortunately, regardless of how anyone feels, the law can’t be more straight forward. Judge Leon stated, “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.”
Judge Leon’s ruling may have set off a fire storm in the telecom space and forge the path for more major media acquisitions to come.
On Wednesday, Comcast made a $65 billion all-cash bid for most of Fox, and by doing so went over Disney’s $52.4 billion deal reached with Fox in December for the same film and TV assets, according to CNN.
Comcast is offering Fox $35 per share in cash this time around after getting rebuffed in favor of Disney’s largest bid.