AT&T may have to sell CNN to merge with Time Warner

AT&T may have to sell CNN to merge with Time Warner

AT&T may have to sell CNN to merge with Time Warner

According to the Wall Street Journal, Kushner told Gary Ginsburg, Time Warner's executive vice president of corporate marketing and a former lawyer for the Clinton White House that "CNN should fire percent of its staff because they were so wrong in their analysis of the election and how it would turn out, people familiar with the matter say".

AT&T's chief executive, Randall Stephenson, said this week he has no intention of selling CNN or making any other major divestments. But AT&T has said it doesn't want to lose the all-news network in the deal.

"I do feel you should have as many news outlets as you can - especially since so many are fake", Trump continued, according to a pool report.

Nevertheless, a group of eight Democratic US senators on Friday wrote to Makan Delrahim, head of the Justice Department's antitrust division, urging the department "to oppose any attempt by the White House to interfere with antitrust law enforcement decisions, particularly for political reasons". AT&T shares rose 1.6 percent to $33.97. The deal, he said, would put "too much concentration of power in the hands of too few".

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If AT&T and DOJ cannot agree to conditions, the government can sue to block the deal.

This week, Delrahim and other agency officials told AT&T that the deal as it now stands raises anti-competition concerns, and that the company will need to shed some assets, perhaps either Turner or DirecTV. It would then supply its video - HBO, CNN, TBS and the Warner Bros. movie studio - while providing access to the internet for millions of Americans. Other outlets reported that the Trump administration had demanded the sale. "It's time to settle, or it's time to go to court", he said.

AT&T has long noted that "vertical mergers" - when one company buys another that isn't a direct competitor - are typically approved. "Beyond that, the Department does not comment on any pending investigation".

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