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Report: DOJ Asks For The Sale of CNN or DIRECTV in AT&T-Time Warner Deal


Today The New York Times reported that the Depart of Justice has called on AT&T and Time Warner to sell Turner Broadcasting Group the group of cable networks including CNN as a potential requirement for approving the companies’ pending $85.4 billion deal. Or sell off DIRECTV and keep the cable networks.

The demand puts pressure on AT&T as DIRECTV is a significant part of AT&T’s future plans. Additionally, Turner Broadcasting Group has been a major attraction for AT&T purchase of Time Warner.

Now the future of the deal is in doubt as AT&T’s Chief Financial Officer John Stephens said the approval of the merger is “now uncertain.”

At the Wells Fargo Media & Telecom Conference in New York, Stephens said the telco is in “active discussions” with the Dept. of Justice, although he could not comment on the talks specifically.

“But with those discussions, I can now say that the timing of the closing of the deal is now uncertain,” Stephens said. “With regards to the transaction, everything continues as we’ve expressed in the past.”

If the DOJ formally requests the sale of Turner or DIRECTV an official requirement AT&T could take the issue to court over the government’s legal basis for blocking the deal.

For now, the future of the AT&T and Time Warner deal looks increasingly uncertain.

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  • TexMarque

    The whole deal is in jeopardy. Direct TV is distribution with a small content arm, AT&T Sports and Audience TV. Turner Networks is the heart of TineWarner’s expanded cable TV package as a content provider. The merger is not worth it if it comes down to one or the other.

  • Malignar

    Please release Direct TV. Huge difference in that company after AT&T bought them.

  • mnsportsgeek

    So that’s the end of that deal.

    • Nope. AT&T will take DOJ to court. Court will decide, likely in favor of business.

      • Slices Right

        Disagree. When these mergers are challenged in court, the DOJ usually wins.

        • AT&T will argue its a “vertical integration” merger across industries. No such deal has been successfully blocked by DOJ in 40 years.

        • bbock

          The problem for the DOJ this time is Donald Trump who talked about this merger in his beef with CNN.

  • Chris

    Well I actually hope they keep dtv. I just signed up for dtv now and got the 60 chan package for 25 a month plus free hbo for life. That is a hellava deal id hate to give up.

  • Kariim Nelson

    Minus Game of Thrones.. HBO is not worth it, that’s why their giving it away. After game of thrones, the other shows are meh!!!

    • Marc H

      Even the mediocre stuff at HBO is higher quality then any other service. It has probably the top 5 series ever.