Justice Department to Appeal AT&T-Time Warner Decision

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department filed a notice of appeal of a federal judge’s decision last month that paved the way for AT&T to acquire Time Warner.

“Notice is hereby given that the United States of America, plaintiff in the above named case, hereby appeals to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit from the final judgment entered in this action on June 12, 2018,” the DOJ said in its filing, signed by its lead counsel, Craig Conrath.

The notice was just one paragraph, but the Justice Department will be expected to file a lengthier brief. A spokesman for the Antitrust Division said that they had no comment.

AT&T chairman-CEO Randall Stephenson told Variety he was not surprised by the government’s move, nor is he worried about it posing a threat to the merger deal that closed last month after more than 18 months.

“We were expecting this,” Stephenson said in Sun Valley, Idaho, where he is attending the annual Allen & Co. conference this week. “The merger’s closed. We’re all about executing now.”

U.S. District Judge Richard Leon decided in favor of AT&T-Time Warner on June 12, in a definitive opinion that rejected all of the government’s arguments. He also strongly suggested that the Justice Department not to seek a stay to block the merger as it pursued an appeal. They took about a month to file the notice — they had a court deadline of 60 days to do so.


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