Groups ask Sessions to scrutinize AT&T-Time Warner merger

Groups ask Sessions to scrutinize AT&T-Time Warner merger
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A group of public interest organizations asked Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsUnder pressure, Trump shifts blame for Russia intrusion Overnight Tech: Judge blocks AT&T request for DOJ communications | Facebook VP apologizes for tweets about Mueller probe | Tech wants Treasury to fight EU tax proposal Overnight Regulation: Trump to take steps to ban bump stocks | Trump eases rules on insurance sold outside of ObamaCare | FCC to officially rescind net neutrality Thursday | Obama EPA chief: Reg rollback won't stand MORE on Thursday to scrutinize the pending AT&T-Time Warner merger that’s awaiting Justice Department approval.

They warned in a letter that the $85 billion deal could have adverse effects for consumers and competitors.

“The proposed merger between AT&T and Time Warner would create a media and telecommunications giant with the ability to use its assets to dominate markets, hold back competition, and harm consumers by inflating prices and impeding innovative new video services,” the letter reads.

It was signed by 13 public interest groups, including Public Knowledge, Free Press, Common Cause and New America’s Open Technology Institute.

The groups are concerned that if the deal goes through, AT&T, which is bidding to acquire Time Warner, will be able to favor its newfound entertainment content over that of its competitors and drive up prices for consumers.

"As proposed, this merger would give AT&T the incentive and ability to discriminate in favor of Time Warner programming on its platforms to the detriment of independent and diverse programming,” the groups wrote.

President Trump came out against the deal on the campaign trail last year, vowing that it would not be approved under his administration.

But his administration has largely stayed out of the way of the deal since he took office, and the Justice Department is widely expected to give its approval.