Friday, 17 November, 2017

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 Rupert Murdoch 'interested in buying CNN' after reports Trump administration may force AT&T to sell it
Theresa Hayes | 12 November, 2017, 01:56

"Well I didn't make that decision - it was made by a man who's a very respected person, a very very respected person", Trump added.

President Donald Trump appeared to stress on Saturday that he had not intervened in AT&T's bid to buy Time Warner - or sought to require that the companies sell CNN in order to obtain the USA government's approval of the deal.

USA authorities have told AT&T and Time Warner they must sell the CNN news channel or satellite operator DirecTV to get the green light for their merger, a source close to the deal told AFP on Wednesday.

"While there are plenty of good reasons to oppose AT&T's Time Warner takeover, punishing CNN for trying to hold this administration accountable isn't one of them", Free Press' president, Craig Aaron, said in a statement.

Rupert Murdoch may be kicking the tires on a deal to buy CNN.

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. And, she said, it would likely point to President Donald Trump's frequent tweets and criticisms of CNN, saying the Justice Department's stance appears political.

"I did make a comment in the past as to what I think", Trump said. "We are prepared to litigate now", Stephenson told CNBC on the sidelines of the New York Times Dealbook conference.

The president has frequently referred to CNN as "fake news". "We'll see how it all plays out", Trump said aboard Air Force One, according to the White House's official transcript of the exchange.

Delrahim said he had not had any contact with the White House or the attorney general on the matter, speaking at an event at the USC Gould School of Law in Los Angeles later in the day. The Justice official said no decision on the deal has been reached yet and that conversations continue.

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