Justice Department Sues to Block AT&T-Time Warner Merger

The New York Times cited Ryan Radia on lack of impact which the AT&T-Time Warner merger would pose to any distinct market.

The Justice Department sued to block AT&T’s $85.4 billion bid for Time Warner on Monday, setting up a showdown over the first blockbuster acquisition to be considered by the Trump administration and drawing limits on corporate power in the fast-evolving media landscape.

By challenging the deal, the Justice Department is taking an approach to antitrust issues that is starkly different from the Obama administration’s. In 2011, for instance, the department approved a similar deal — Comcast’s acquisition of NBCUniversal — after imposing numerous conditions on the transaction.

Gene Kimmelman, the president of Public Knowledge, a nonprofit consumer advocacy group and a former senior antitrust official at the Justice Department, said, “We believe the Justice Department has presented a persuasive case that should satisfy any federal judge that this transaction is illegal and should be blocked, regardless of any politics surrounding the deal.”

Ryan Radia, a legal and regulatory expert at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, took a different view. “The AT&T-Time Warner merger is a vertical transaction that wouldn’t reduce competition in any distinct market,” Mr. Radia said. “Under established antitrust principles, the government will have a difficult time showing a court that the deal is likely to harm consumers.”

Read the full article at The New York Times.