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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