Government's holdup of AT&T's acquisition of Time Warner worries some

Government's holdup of AT&T's acquisition of Time Warner worries some

But AT&T is said to be reluctant to sell assets, especially Turner, which represents a significant portion of Time Warner's profits.

AT&T may choose to force the DOJ's hand by moving to close the deal, which could trigger a court fight. He added that AT&T was also not willing to sell HBO or Warner Bros., which would also come along with Time Warner if the deal goes through.

Gary Ginsberg has reportedly replied to Jared Kushner that Time Warner, CNN's parent company, would not be able to do that, The Wall Street Journal said, citing its sources. His FCC appointees, for example, have changed a rule that will allow deeply conservative Sinclair Broadcasting - the new owner of WNEP-TV - to reach up to 72 percent of US households.

"We're prepared to litigate now", Stephenson said at a conference this week hosted by the New York Times.

Some US commentators claim president Donald Trump - a severe critic of CNN - is behind the DoJ's alleged demands.

The newspaper's source in the White House said that this was meant merely as a joke and Kushner did not mean to be taken seriously.

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The DOJ should forget about CNN and reject the merger to prevent further consolidation of media power. But many, including AT&T executives, expected the acquisition to be finalized by the end of the year, and the DOJ's pushback has all but ensured that won't be the case.

AT&T has signalled it would not agree to sell DirecTV, which it acquired for $49 billion in 2015, leaving CNN and other cable TV assets as the main sticking point in negotiations.

He also seemed to challenge one of AT&T's arguments in favor of the transaction: that it now faces a competition landscape made up of large Silicon Valley companies.

Delrahim has said he prefers "structural" changes to a deal, like selling off assets, rather than having the government monitor a company's promises to abide by certain conditions, as was done with Comcast.

Several Democratic senators warned the deal would lead to higher prices and fewer choices for consumers. "Beyond that, the Department does not comment on any pending investigation".

On last Sunday's "Reliable Sources" on CNN, when asked whether Trump has had any involvement, counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway said "we're not going to interfere with that here".

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