AT&T-Time Warner merger 'not good for the country'

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Trump's remarks came a day after his Justice Department filed suit to block the proposed Dollars 85 billion deal linking AT&T's internet and pay TV operations with the content from Time Warner, which includes HBO and CNN news channel with which he has feuded.

AT&T will ask the court for an expedited trial next week, a source familiar with case said.

Shares of Time Warner closed up 2.1 percent at $89.56 on Tuesday, signaling that investors believe the deal has a better chance of being approved.

AT&T's acquisition of Time Warner comes under the heading of vertical mergers - a deal between two companies that do not compete directly but operate on different steps in a supply chain.

The Justice Department " s lawsuit, which was filed in federal court Monday, claimed that the deal "would result in fewer innovative offerings and higher bills for American families".

The deal instantly became a political lightning rod.

"There's been a lot of reporting and speculation whether this is all about CNN, and frankly I don't know", he said Monday.

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Makan Delrahim, who leads the Justice Department's anti-trust division, has said he's had no contact with the White House about the deal.

Time Warner's shares were untraded.

The No. 2 US wireless carrier is trying to buy Time Warner, which also owns the premium channel HBO and movie studio Warner Bros, so it can bundle video entertainment on its mobile service.

The lawsuit also said AT&T and Comcast, which control nearly half of the pay-TV market, "would have an increased incentive and ability to harm competition by impending online competitors they consider a threat".

Aside from Trump and the Justice Department, the deal is also opposed by an array of consumer groups and smaller television networks.

"The Department of Justice can anticipate a tough battle, but it deserves support for the goal of protecting against undue power", Blumenthal said in a statement. He, however, noted that selling CNN to appease the White House wasn't going to be part of the deal.

The Justice Department has not successfully litigated to stop a vertical deal - where the merging companies are not direct competitors, as is the case with AT&T and Time Warner - since the 1970s, when it prevented Ford Motor Co from buying assets from spark-plug maker Autolite.

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