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U.S. appeals court to hear arguments to stop AT&T purchase of Time-Warner

The Address | Benghazi – Libya

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Justice Department goes before an appeals court on Thursday to urge a three-judge panel to overturn a lower court ruling and order wireless carrier AT&T Inc to undo its $85.4 billion purchase of entertainment company Time Warner, one of the largest media mergers ever.

The Justice Department filed its lawsuit to stop the deal in November 2017, arguing that AT&T, which owns DirecTV, would use its ownership of Time Warner’s content, like CNN and HBO’s “Game of Thrones” to make pay TV rivals pay more, thus raising their costs and increasing consumers’ cable bills.

The government estimated costs to industry rivals, such as Charter Communications Inc, would increase by $580 million a year if AT&T owned Time Warner.

The merger, including debt, would be the fourth largest deal in the global telecom, media and entertainment sector, according to Thomson Reuters data. It would also be the 12th largest deal in any sector.

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