Antitrust Law

Justice Department will appeal decision approving AT&T-Time Warner merger

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Johnathan Weiss and Katherine Welles/

The U.S. Justice Department has filed a notice indicating it will appeal a federal judge’s decision approving the merger of media giants AT&T and Time Warner.

The notice of appeal was filed in federal court on Thursday, the Wall Street Journal reports. The New York Times also has coverage.

U.S. District Judge Richard Leon of Washington, D.C., approved the merger on June 12, concluding the DOJ didn’t prove the $85.4 billion deal would harm consumers.

Leon had said it would be unjust for the government to seek a stay of the ruling pending an appeal because it would have the effect of preventing the merger before a June 21 “break-up date.” The merger took place two days after Leon’s ruling, CNN Money reported at the time.

Time Warner’s cable networks were to be managed as a separate business unit, according to a letter sent to the Justice Department by a lawyer for the merged company. Time Warner’s networks include TNT, TBS, CNN, and HBO.

AT&T owns DirecTV, the nation’s largest distributor of traditional subscription television.

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