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Thread: AT&T/Time-Warner merger

  1. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by TheBigA View Post
    It's not like Nixon was the last Republican, or that he set the bar. There were several others after him, and they approved many huge mergers. GE bought RCA under Reagan. Bush 2 approved AOL's purchase of Time Warner in 2000.

    If this goes to court, lawyers will demonstrate that this isn't much different from Comcast-Universal. They will also point out that Trump has prejudiced the decision.
    Your last sentence was my point. Ford, Reagan, and both Bushes were not so vindictive as to attempt to scuttle a business deal because of politics. Trump is, and Nixon definitely would have been. And not just Republicans. LBJ was one vindictive SOB as well. I've said since Trump announced his candidacy that he's LBJ and Nixon rolled into one.
    We have to save the Earth! It's the only planet with football and beer.

  2. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by KeithE4 View Post
    LBJ was one vindictive SOB as well. I've said since Trump announced his candidacy that he's LBJ and Nixon rolled into one.
    Interesting point. Then it's likely this will go to court, which is also very rare. It could be the first legal test for Trump's tweets. Because if he prejudiced this decision, that could add to the claims of obstruction of justice. Especially given that he hasn't relinquished his role in his own business empire, and he was rumored to have an interest in starting his own political cable channel.

  3. #13
    The different between then and now, is when you include on line media as a factor, the AT&T TW merger wouldn't be an issue, when you consider Facebook has 55% penetration of on-line news consumers.

  4. #14
    That's not really what the lawsuit seeks. It seeks to block the merger based on less consumer choice. I doubt AT&T prevails in court. Time Warner has grossly mismanaged the former Turner assets. As all they needed to do was jettison a damaged asset to get this merger but chose not to, the management of both companies should seek new management for their bungling of this transaction. AT&T in particular has had to pay BILLIONS in merger termination fees that could've gone back to shareholders as dividends. That CEO needs to be fired ASAP.

  5. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by umfan View Post
    That's not really what the lawsuit seeks. It seeks to block the merger based on less consumer choice.
    If consumer choice is really the issue, then management of Turner should have nothing to do with it. Because the merger with Turner doesn't change the consumer choice landscape. AT&T doesn't own any other cable channels. However, if the issue is the president's personal dislike of CNN, then any impartial judge will rule in favor of AT&T. Also if consumer choice is the issue, then the DOJ should also sue Sinclair to prevent its purchase of Tribune.

  6. #16
    Sinclair isn't a content generator on a significant schedule. The AT&T/TW merger has the potential to increase the cost of content for other distributors. DOJ should've opposed Comcast's acquisition of NBC/U many years ago unless the Universal assets were divested. They aren't bound to approve subsequent mergers because of past mistakes. While AT&T will try to make the CNN comments by the President a major issue in the trial, it's unlikely to be a factor. DOJ is on solid antitrust law grounds in opposing this merger.

    In any case, your title of this thread is factually incorrect since DOJ didn't make a sale of CNN a condition by which they'd approve the merger. 'DOJ sues to block AT&T/TW merger' would be an appropriate title.

  7. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by umfan View Post
    Sinclair isn't a content generator on a significant schedule.
    No but Tribune is, and the merger with Tribune limits competition, and concentrates media in fewer owners. The potential of this merger will be to limit media choices for the public.

    Quote Originally Posted by umfan View Post
    The AT&T/TW merger has the potential to increase the cost of content for other distributors.
    That isn't what the DOJ says. It says that the merger will increase the cost to consumers. There is no foundation for that claim. This is a traditional vertical merger. Fox merging with Disney is a horizontal merger, which would decrease competition. AT&T merging with T-Mobile was a horizontal merger, which would decrease competition. AT&T is not in any of the businesses that Time Warner is in. AT&T doesn't own studios, it doesn't own cable channels, and it doesn't own content. This is a completely new business. There are lots of cable channels that compete with the Time-Warner channels, so there is no change in the amount of competition. The content wouldn't be any more expensive owned by AT&T than it would be if it remained owned by Time Warner. If anything, AT&T could use its transmission vehicles to make its content CHEAPER to consumers, as its done with DirecTV.

    Quote Originally Posted by umfan View Post
    DOJ should've opposed Comcast's acquisition of NBC/U many years ago unless the Universal assets were divested. They aren't bound to approve subsequent mergers because of past mistakes.
    The problem is that AT&T still has to compete against Comcast. So because of "past mistakes," AT&T is at a competitive disadvantage, and the DOJ decision takes away an opportunity for AT&T to more fairly compete against Comcast. That has the effect of harming AT&T.

    Quote Originally Posted by umfan View Post
    While AT&T will try to make the CNN comments by the President a major issue in the trial, it's unlikely to be a factor.
    It's obvious that the president told the DOJ to oppose this merger, just as he's told DOJ to investigate his political opponents. He has politicized the DOJ, and this merger. It was clear in his statement about the merger yesterday. He wants to punish CNN. AT&T commented on that in their press conference, and will make this a first amendment issue. The president should not have commented on pending legal action by his DOJ. Truthfully, AT&T is justified to countersue the president and the government. His comments have the weight of the government, not just a private individual.

    Quote Originally Posted by umfan View Post

    In any case, your title of this thread is factually incorrect since DOJ didn't make a sale of CNN a condition by which they'd approve the merger. 'DOJ sues to block AT&T/TW merger' would be an appropriate title.
    This thread began before the DOJ issued its decision. The fact that early reports indicated it predicated the sale of CNN for the merger is another point that will factor in court.
    Last edited by TheBigA; 11-22-2017 at 11:59 AM.

  8. #18

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    I think AOL's purchase of Time Warner was approved by Bill Clinton

  9. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by ftballfan View Post
    I think AOL's purchase of Time Warner was approved by Bill Clinton
    Nope. The deal was announced in January 2000, just as he was leaving office, and approved by the DOJ in 2001, under George W. Bush. The point is there was a consistency at DOJ. There was a consistency in how they approached these kinds of things, and consistency in the staff, so decisions aren't affected by party or president. That's not the case now.

  10. #20
    Because the last administration politicized the DOJ more so than its recent predecessors did.

    The DOJ argument is that distribution content cost increase will be passed along to consumers.

    DOJ has no responsibility to allow AT&T to merge because it's at a competitive disadvantage because prior DOJ leadership made a bad choice. This case will drag on for a very long time unless AT&T wants to make significant concessions. It's very doubtful this merger will now take place. In any case, DOJ never sued to compel the divestment of CNN, so the title of this thread was never anything more than an inaccurate red herring.

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