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Report: The Government Never Tried to Force a CNN Sale


Earlier this week it was reported that the Department of Justice was trying to get AT&T to sell DIRECTV or CNN as a condition for approval of their purchase of Time Warner. (The content company not the cable TV company.)

Having assets sold or control limited is not an unusual request in mergers like this. When Comcast purchased NBCUniversal, their control over Hulu was limited to a non-voting role for a set number of years. When Charter purchased Time Warner Cable, Charter had to agree to not impose data caps.

According to CNBC officials with the Justice Department made no demand for AT&T to sell CNN or any other properties. A DOJ official said the report of a demand to sell CNN was “shocking” and countered that AT&T was attempting to make the matter political.

The DOJ official did say they have presented AT&T with several options to satisfy antitrust concerns but never demanded a CNN sale.

We have been hearing for some time now that some type of concession will need to be made for the AT&T and Time Warner deal to be approved. That is nothing new for a deal like this. The question now is what concession will need to be made.

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  • jiggrinder

    Fake news ??? Another reason to “cut the cord “

    • Cooper McChester

      That is one on the reasons I did. I found ALL cable news networks to be full of bias and dog whistling propaganda. I know they need ratings but you should not have the scruples of The National Inquirer.

      • Unique_Username99

        just Faux News

      • Mike Thaler

        My complaint about ALL news channels is they look for ONE story to focus on for days at a time – cancelling (ignoring) all other news. A missing plane, a weather event, a murder etc. Imagine if a news paper cancelled almost all other news reporting and just carried articles on one event for 2 days. It’s bad enuf when the cancel news reporting just for several hours.

  • SunnySD92101

    Yeah the left wing news are making up false narratives about Trump again.

    • Cooper McChester

      “I think that CNN and Fox Newsshould be forced to merge so maybe we could get 1 decent and actual balanced cable news source” :- Mario Gabelli
      He hit the nail on the head. Cable news = National Inquirer

    • Unique_Username99

      enough with political BS. Mods stop this $hit. Since you brought it up if you support Trump you’re a tard. PERIOD. Go ahead support sex abuser who probably molested Ivanka when she was young. Tells everything we need to know about you.

  • Michael Smith

    What are the concessions you mention in the article?

    • bbock

      Sell the part of the company that owns CNN and all fo the other programming content, or selling DirecTV. They won’t do either. Trump screwed the DOJ on this already.

  • S. Mays

    “Having assets sold or control limited is not an unusual request in mergers like this.” Actually, it is in this instance. What competing business in the same industry does AT&T control? What is AT&T’s CNN equivalent? Anyone believing anything coming out of the mouth of this administration had better take it with a block of salt. The administration has been stocked full of lobbyists (Ajit Pai, DeVos to name but a few) and they are lying their heads off trying to steal from taxpayers to give to their corporate buddies.

  • Fred Koot

    When did this site turn into a right wing propagation site? The article just points to what the a member of the Doj says, which we know never tells the truth. Ever heard of Jeff Sessions.

  • TexMarque

    The government really knew how to help Charter by requiring them to have unlimited data. What a win for their ISP business; something that their competitors won’t be able to do over time due to costs.

  • This is spin from the DOJ. The DOJ is making this look legit by giving AT&T the option of selling Turner Stations ( Which CNN is part of) or selling DirecTV. Considering that DirectTV is a pivotal to AT&Ts future plans it’s like me asking you to chose between loosing your baseball cap or your left arm. The DOJ can’t outright ask them to sell CNN, so they concocted this choice that isn’t a choice to tell them they have to sell CNN. Personally, I am not a fan of the merger. However, this move by the DOJ, while possibly not a breach of the law, seems ethically dubious at best.

    • bbock

      The DOJ’s claim is dubious at best when you consider Trump himself brought up CNN in terms of the AT&T and Time Warner merger. Trump had no business interfering in AT&T and CNN and the DOJ. They are supposed to be independent of the White House. I’ll bet AT&T’s case will be very strong due to Trump’s blundering in to this.

  • Barbara R

    Not fake news. DOJ offered a choice or selling either DTV or a bundle of channels including CNN.

    • bbock

      This was AFTER Trump said he was going to interfere.

  • Barbara R

    This site should not get involved in politics. Stick to your mission.

    • FranchisePlayer

      Agreed. With topics like this, it’s hard to separate the politics and opinions related to it and not enforce the new Code of Conduct for this site. While this topic has indirect cord cutting information, it’s a fine line to focus on just that part of it.

      Regardless of your political affiliation, mergers can make cord cutting more expensive and possibly limit the information you can access with OTT boxes.

  • Rlee

    More fake news.

  • Tom42

    DOJ said that it didn’t request those sales, but merely presented them as
    options that would quell its antitrust concerns over the $85.4 billion
    deal.

    hint hint wink wink

    No they did not DEMAND, they just let it be known that to get the approval for the merge they would have to clear up any antitrust concerns the DOJ had like SELLING CNN