Published: Wed, November 22, 2017
Business | By Max Garcia

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

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

President Donald Trump reiterated his distaste for the AT&T-Time Warner merger a day after the Justice Department announced it was suing to block the $85 billion deal.

"I'm not going to get involved in litigation but personally I've always felt that that was a deal that was not good for the country", Trump said as he departed the White House. I think your pricing is going to go up.

"I've done a lot of deals in my career, but I've never done one where we have disagreed with the Department of Justice so much on even the most basic of facts", he said. But I'm not going to get involved.

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".

"Trump's remarks came a day after his Justice Department filed suit to block the proposed United States 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". Those other distribution companies would then most likely pass on the higher costs to consumers, the lawsuit suggests. Department officials told NBC News this month that they had offered the phone giant the opportunity to divest a major asset in return for receiving approval.

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 products include CNN, HBO, TNT, The Cartoon Network, and Cinemax - these networks broadcast highly popular newscasts, movies, comedy and drama series, and sports.

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson also criticized the DOJ's decision, arguing that it "defies logic".

On the campaign trail past year, Trump said the deal would give AT&T too much power, and would result in the "concentration of power in the hands of too few".

Stephenson also fed speculation that the Justice Department may have been motivated by Trump's antipathy toward CNN.

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