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- An appeals court has upheld the AT&T-Time Warner merger in a victory for AT&T.
- On Tuesday, the court rejected the US Department of Justice’s argument that a federal judge didn’t understand the case.
- Barring a further appeal, the ruling ends a multiyear fight between AT&T and the government.
An appeals court has affirmed the AT&T-Time Warner merger.
The ruling came down Tuesday, more than eight months after District Judge Richard Leon approved the $85 billion merger between AT&T and Time Warner in one of the most anticipated antitrust rulings in decades.
The US Department of Justice appealed the decision, arguing that Leon fundamentally didn’t understand its antitrust case. The DOJ originally argued that the merger would hurt competition and allow AT&T to hike prices for Time Warner content while blacking out service during affiliate negotiations.
A panel of judges ruled the government didn’t adequately demonstrate that Leon erred in his decision, delivering another loss to Makan Delrahim, who leads the DOJ’s antitrust division.
The DOJ can appeal the case to a full panel of appeals-court justices or request the Supreme Court take up the case. Barring further appeal, the ruling sealed an antitrust fight more than two years in the making.
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