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Court Rejects Antitrust Lawsuit Against AT&T/TimeWarner Deal: CEI Comment

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Today, a federal court rejected an antitrust challenge to a merger deal between AT&T and TimeWarner. CEI technology policy expert Jessica Melugin praised the ruling and explained why it’s good news for consumers.

The Competitive Enterprise Institute commends today’s decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to uphold a ruling that AT&T’s acquisition of TimeWarner is unlikely to harm competition.

Government interference (even the threat of it) disrupts investment and coordination in rapidly innovating sectors of the economy. This is particularly harmful when markets are melting lines between industries to produce the next big advance in delivery or content.

Consumers already have myriad choices for viewing content, a fact overlooked by the government’s myopic view of the DIRECTV market. There are competitors to satellite television, like Internet service that supports streaming services Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube and portable devices like smart phones and tablets. This rapid innovation is a perfect example of market forces moving too quickly for antitrust regulators.

Hopefully, this merger decision sends a signal to Washington regulators to exercise restraint and let businesses innovate, serve consumers, and generate wealth.