AT&T vs. Justice: Behind the dispute over Time Warner deal

AT&T vs. Justice: Behind the dispute over Time Warner deal

AT&T may be forced to dump CNN for the United States regulators to allow its proposed takeover of Time Warner to go through.

If AT&T and DOJ cannot agree to conditions, the government can sue to block the deal.

Kushner told Time Warner executive Gary Ginsberg that CNN should fire the employees because they were so wrong in their analysis of how the election would turn out, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday, citing people familiar with the matter.

AT&T executives have consistently expressed optimism about the deal being approved. "We are prepared to litigate now", Stephenson told CNBC on the sidelines of the New York Times Dealbook conference. The companies had been planning to finalize the deal by the end of the year, and just last week AT&T said it was confident it would win approval for the deal since it does not involve direct competitors.

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"I didn't make that decision", Trump told reporters.

Raj Shah, a White House spokesman, said in a separate statement that Trump "did not speak with the Attorney General about this matter, and no White House official was authorized speak with the Department of Justice on this matter".

Trump did again raise the issue of news media consolidation.

Some sources say AT&T floated the possibility of selling CNN or other assets. AT&T announced plans previous year to purchase Time Warner to create a juggernaut with more than 142 million mobile subscribers and a major player in pay TV broadcasting via DirecTV.

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Delrahim has said he prefers "structural" changes to a deal, like selling off assets, rather than having the government monitor a company's promises to abide by certain conditions, as was done with Comcast.

But sources said talks between the government and AT&T are ongoing in the hopes that an agreement can be reached.

The US President's senior adviser Jared Kushner has reportedly filed multiple complaints to CNN regarding the broadcaster's coverage of the US election in 2016.

In an emailed statement, the Justice Department said that it "is committed to carrying out its duties in accordance with the laws and the facts".

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Stephens reiterated confidence in the deal, saying "these types of mergers bring great benefit to customers and have very routinely been approved by the DOJ and the federal government".

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