A federal pass judgement on has set a March 19 trial date for the U.S. govt’s case difficult AT&T’s proposed merger with Time Warner.
In doing so, Pass judgement on Richard Leon additionally informed the 2 corporations on Thursday that it will be nearly unattainable for them to near their deal earlier than April 22. It’s a key closing date: Both sides can stroll clear of the purchase if it isn’t finished through then, and AT&T must pay Time Warner a $500 million breakup rate.
“This isn’t a standard case from many views,” mentioned Leon on the first standing listening to in Washington, D.C.
The $85 billion merger is among the biggest media offers lately, signaling the beginning of extra media consolidation as TV companies have declined because of Fb and Google. Disney is with reference to obtaining belongings from 21st Century Fox, and Comcast* has checked out Fox belongings as smartly.
However the Justice Division’s lawsuit towards AT&T suggests media mergers would possibly go through extra scrutiny someday, or would a minimum of have to attend till AT&T’s case has wrapped.
AT&T to start with sought a February listening to; the Justice Division had angled for Would possibly.
* Comcast’s NBCUniversal is a minority investor in Recode mum or dad corporate Vox Media.