Appeals court upholds AT&T's $85.4 billion takeover of Time Warner

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A D.C. appeals court on Tuesday upheld a lower-court ruling in favor of AT&T's takeover of Time Warner, a 2016 deal valued at $85.4 billion.

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A three-judge panel issued a unianimous decision, saying the deal didn't violate antitrust laws, Reuters reported. The U.S. Justice Department was suing to block the acquisition, with the public backing of President Donald Trump.

"The government's objections that the district court misunderstood and misapplied economic principles and clearly erred in rejecting the quantitative model are unpersuasive," the panel wrote.

At the heart of the Justice Department's argument was the view that AT&T's move could raise costs for pay TV. AT&T owns DirecTV and runs a self-branded TV service, U-verse. Time Warner, meanwhile, owns some of the most popular networks offered in cable and satellite bundles, such as CNN and HBO.

The acquisition was formally completed in June 2018. At the time AT&T promised to manage Time Warner's Turner networks separately from DirecTV until this month or the conclusion of the government's appeal, whichever came first.

The U.S. media landscape has become increasingly homogenous or even hegemonic, with large corporations owning both infrastructure and the content on it, such as Comcast-NBCUniversal. AT&T quickly took advantage of this to launch WatchTV, a live TV service intended mainly as a perk for unlimited data plans on phones and tablets.

In some regions companies like AT&T and Comcast may be the only TV or internet providers available, a point cited by opponents to megamergers.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 17
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,061member
    But imagine what would happen if Apple did something like this, say buying Disney. The Internet would come to a complete standstill as the outrage and hand wringing consumed all available bandwidth. 
    AppleExposedcornchip
  • Reply 2 of 17
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 853unconfirmed, member
    lkrupp said:
    But imagine what would happen if Apple did something like this, say buying Disney. The Internet would come to a complete standstill as the outrage and hand wringing consumed all available bandwidth. 

    The first thing I noticed was price.

    If Apple was "stupid" for buying beats for 3B, imagine how stupid they would be to spend 85B on an acquisition?
    cornchipStrangeDays
  • Reply 3 of 17
    One can only wonder why an administration so opposed to any and all regulation would oppose a vertical integration such as this that has historically seldom been opposed?

    There's more to this story than we, the public, know.
    cornchipdewmedysamoria
  • Reply 4 of 17
    Foregone conclusion.
    cornchipdysamoria
  • Reply 5 of 17
    lkrupp said:
    But imagine what would happen if Apple did something like this, say buying Disney. The Internet would come to a complete standstill as the outrage and hand wringing consumed all available bandwidth. 

    The first thing I noticed was price.

    If Apple was "stupid" for buying beats for 3B, imagine how stupid they would be to spend 85B on an acquisition?
    Agreed.

    Btw, here's an interesting factoid: that $85B for T-W + market values of CBS ($19B) + Viacom ($12B) + Half of Fox ($45B) ≃ market value of Netflix ($158B)
    AppleExposedcornchipchristophb
  • Reply 6 of 17
    Expect a National Emergency to be declared soon to stop the merger. :)
    cornchipGeorgeBMacdewme
  • Reply 7 of 17
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,525member
    One can only wonder why an administration so opposed to any and all regulation would oppose a vertical integration such as this that has historically seldom been opposed?

    There's more to this story than we, the public, know.
    Think about how the administration feels about CNN and you will be on the path to enlightenment.
    ronncornchipdysamoria
  • Reply 8 of 17
    One can only wonder why an administration so opposed to any and all regulation would oppose a vertical integration such as this that has historically seldom been opposed?

    There's more to this story than we, the public, know.
    See
     https://www.axios.com/democrats-adam-schiff-donald-trump-cnn-jeff-bezos-ed8c162f-5a07-4aba-9bc7-a970754958f6.html
    and
    https://www.engadget.com/2018/11/11/house-democrats-to-investigate-trump-actions-against-amazon-att/
    ronndysamoria
  • Reply 9 of 17
    HGR2 said:
    Expect a National Emergency to be declared soon to stop the merger. :)
    Hahahaha!
  • Reply 10 of 17
    quinney said:
    One can only wonder why an administration so opposed to any and all regulation would oppose a vertical integration such as this that has historically seldom been opposed?

    There's more to this story than we, the public, know.
    Think about how the administration feels about CNN and you will be on the path to enlightenment.
    Actually, I would think that would argue FOR the administration to support the merger -- because they could hold the merger hostage to insure CNN became another FauxNews.  Or, at minimum hope that AT&T would want to neutralize a controversial network.
  • Reply 11 of 17
    lkrupp said:
    But imagine what would happen if Apple did something like this, say buying Disney. The Internet would come to a complete standstill as the outrage and hand wringing consumed all available bandwidth. 

    The first thing I noticed was price.

    If Apple was "stupid" for buying beats for 3B, imagine how stupid they would be to spend 85B on an acquisition?
    Agreed.

    Btw, here's an interesting factoid: that $85B for T-W + market values of CBS ($19B) + Viacom ($12B) + Half of Fox ($45B) ≃ market value of Netflix ($158B)
    Ahh!  I wondered WHY this administration would  be so staunchly against this deal!   It was like they were scared of something.  That "Half of Fox ($4B)" could explain it because that half could easily become 51% of Faux.  And, without Faux as a propaganda outlet Trump and the Republican party are dead meat.
    dysamoria
  • Reply 12 of 17
    As a stockholder of both companies, I’m OK with this.
  • Reply 13 of 17
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 2,140member
    Yay. More effing monstrous corporate mergers. This can only be bad for those of us who aren’t at least millionaires.

    No, that’s not why the administration was opposed to it.
  • Reply 14 of 17
    lkrupp said:
    But imagine what would happen if Apple did something like this, say buying Disney. The Internet would come to a complete standstill as the outrage and hand wringing consumed all available bandwidth. 

    The first thing I noticed was price.

    If Apple was "stupid" for buying beats for 3B, imagine how stupid they would be to spend 85B on an acquisition?
    Agreed.

    Btw, here's an interesting factoid: that $85B for T-W + market values of CBS ($19B) + Viacom ($12B) + Half of Fox ($45B) ≃ market value of Netflix ($158B)
    Ahh!  I wondered WHY this administration would  be so staunchly against this deal!   It was like they were scared of something.  That "Half of Fox ($4B)" could explain it because that half could easily become 51% of Faux.  And, without Faux as a propaganda outlet Trump and the Republican party are dead meat.
    Huh?  What does Fox News, Fox Sports, 21st Century Fox have to do with AT&T not attempting to acquire any of them?
  • Reply 15 of 17
    lkrupp said:
    But imagine what would happen if Apple did something like this, say buying Disney. The Internet would come to a complete standstill as the outrage and hand wringing consumed all available bandwidth. 

    The first thing I noticed was price.

    If Apple was "stupid" for buying beats for 3B, imagine how stupid they would be to spend 85B on an acquisition?
    Agreed.

    Btw, here's an interesting factoid: that $85B for T-W + market values of CBS ($19B) + Viacom ($12B) + Half of Fox ($45B) ≃ market value of Netflix ($158B)
    Ahh!  I wondered WHY this administration would  be so staunchly against this deal!   It was like they were scared of something.  That "Half of Fox ($4B)" could explain it because that half could easily become 51% of Faux.  And, without Faux as a propaganda outlet Trump and the Republican party are dead meat.
    Huh?  What does Fox News, Fox Sports, 21st Century Fox have to do with AT&T not attempting to acquire any of them?
    As I said:
    "Ahh!  I wondered WHY this administration would  be so staunchly against this deal!   It was like they were scared of something.  That "Half of Fox ($45B)" could explain it because that half could easily become 51% of Faux.  And, without Faux as a propaganda outlet Trump and the Republican party are dead meat."
  • Reply 16 of 17
    lkrupp said:
    But imagine what would happen if Apple did something like this, say buying Disney. The Internet would come to a complete standstill as the outrage and hand wringing consumed all available bandwidth. 

    The first thing I noticed was price.

    If Apple was "stupid" for buying beats for 3B, imagine how stupid they would be to spend 85B on an acquisition?
    Agreed.

    Btw, here's an interesting factoid: that $85B for T-W + market values of CBS ($19B) + Viacom ($12B) + Half of Fox ($45B) ≃ market value of Netflix ($158B)
    Ahh!  I wondered WHY this administration would  be so staunchly against this deal!   It was like they were scared of something.  That "Half of Fox ($4B)" could explain it because that half could easily become 51% of Faux.  And, without Faux as a propaganda outlet Trump and the Republican party are dead meat.
    Huh?  What does Fox News, Fox Sports, 21st Century Fox have to do with AT&T not attempting to acquire any of them?
    As I said:
    "Ahh!  I wondered WHY this administration would  be so staunchly against this deal!   It was like they were scared of something.  That "Half of Fox ($45B)" could explain it because that half could easily become 51% of Faux.  And, without Faux as a propaganda outlet Trump and the Republican party are dead meat."
    As I tried to explain - the deal has nothing to do with any current or former News Corp properties.
  • Reply 17 of 17
    lkrupp said:
    But imagine what would happen if Apple did something like this, say buying Disney. The Internet would come to a complete standstill as the outrage and hand wringing consumed all available bandwidth. 

    The first thing I noticed was price.

    If Apple was "stupid" for buying beats for 3B, imagine how stupid they would be to spend 85B on an acquisition?
    Agreed.

    Btw, here's an interesting factoid: that $85B for T-W + market values of CBS ($19B) + Viacom ($12B) + Half of Fox ($45B) ≃ market value of Netflix ($158B)
    Ahh!  I wondered WHY this administration would  be so staunchly against this deal!   It was like they were scared of something.  That "Half of Fox ($4B)" could explain it because that half could easily become 51% of Faux.  And, without Faux as a propaganda outlet Trump and the Republican party are dead meat.
    Huh?  What does Fox News, Fox Sports, 21st Century Fox have to do with AT&T not attempting to acquire any of them?
    As I said:
    "Ahh!  I wondered WHY this administration would  be so staunchly against this deal!   It was like they were scared of something.  That "Half of Fox ($45B)" could explain it because that half could easily become 51% of Faux.  And, without Faux as a propaganda outlet Trump and the Republican party are dead meat."
    As I tried to explain - the deal has nothing to do with any current or former News Corp properties.
    I guess your explanation was less than clear.
    "What does Fox News, [... etc... ] have to do with AT&T not attempting to acquire any of them?"

    Republicans cannot afford to lose FauxNews.   That's their primary propaganda outlet.
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