The Justice Department is poised to file a lawsuit aimed at blocking the takeover of Time Warner by AT&T, CNN reports, citing a source who’s familiar with the matter.
“The lawsuit is an unusual challenge to the $85 billion deal, which was announced by the two companies more than a year ago,” CNN reports. “AT&T has been preparing for a potential legal challenge. AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said two weeks ago that if the DOJ sued, the company would seek an expedited hearing.”
In a statement today, David R. McAtee II, general counsel for AT&T, said: “Today’s DOJ lawsuit is a radical and inexplicable departure from decades of antitrust precedent. Vertical mergers like this one are routinely approved because they benefit consumers without removing any competitor from the market. We see no legitimate reason for our merger to be treated differently. … Fortunately, the Department of Justice doesn’t have the final say in this matter.”
CNN adds: “Some experts believe the case could be resolved in a matter of months. But a lengthy, drawn-out court battle could cause AT&T and Time Warner to give up on the deal.”