AT&T wins legal battle against United States government over Time Warner deal

The merger is likely to be finalised next week, reports said.

Mobile phone service provider AT&T Inc won a court battle on Tuesday to buy media giant Time Warner Inc for $85 billion (Rs 5.74 lakh crore), Reuters reported.

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The Donald Trump administration tried to obstruct the deal, which could soon lead to several corporate mergers, by suing AT&T. The government is apprehensive that the merger will lead to a decrease in competition in pay TV and increase prices for consumers.

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Media observers have described the deal, which may be finalised next week, as a landmark moment for the industry. Experts predict that the development could pave the way for Comcast to challenge Fox and Disney’s bid to buy the assets of 21st Century Fox.

The Trump administration has been critical of the Time Warner-owned CNN and its coverage of his government’s policies. The government has claimed that the deal will harm consumers, but United States District Judge Richard Leon said there was no evidence to prove it.

The deal, inclusive of the debt procured, could be categorised as the fourth largest agreement ever attempted in the global telecom, media and entertainment space, according to Thomson Reuters.

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