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AT&T wins appeal over $60bn WarnerMedia acquisition

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Eight months after AT&T completed its $60 billion acquisition of Time Warner, the US government has lost an appeal against the deal.

The Department of Justice (DoJ) asked the Court of Appeal to overturn last year’s decision to permit AT&T to take over the media company, now renamed WarnerMedia.

But the three judges hearing the case all decided to block the DoJ’s appeal against last year’s decision. That means – unless the DoJ takes it further – AT&T will not have to unravel the acquisition.

David McAtee, AT&T’s general counsel, welcomed the decision. “The merger of these innovative companies has already yielded significant consumer benefits, and it will continue to do so for years to come,” he said. “While we respect the important role that the US Department of Justice plays in the merger review process, we trust that today’s unanimous decision from the DC Circuit will end this litigation.”

However, observers pointed out that the DoJ could ask all the judges in the DC Circuit – not just the panel of three – to take the decision. Or it could even take the case to the Supreme Court.

 

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