Key GOP chairman calls for 'robust review' of AT&T-Time Warner deal

Key GOP chairman calls for 'robust review' of AT&T-Time Warner deal
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The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee is joining the chorus of lawmakers calling for federal regulators to closely review the proposed sale of Time Warner to AT&T.

“This is the biggest deal of the year, combining one of the nation’s largest telecommunications providers with a media and entertainment giant,” Iowa Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyGOP senators call for Barr to release full results of Epstein investigation Trump health official: Controversial drug pricing move is 'top priority' Environmental advocates should take another look at biofuels MORE (R) said in a statement Monday. “It’s imperative that the antitrust regulators conduct a robust review of the proposed acquisition.”

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He pledged that the committee would hold a hearing “to examine the impact on competition and consumers.”

Earlier in the day, the committee’s ranking Democrat, Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyAppropriators warn White House against clawing back foreign aid House panel investigating decision to resume federal executions Graham moves controversial asylum bill through panel; Democrats charge he's broken the rules MORE, also called for a hearing on the issue. The Judiciary Committee’s antitrust subcommittee is already planning to hold a hearing on the transaction.

The deal, which is valued at $85.4 billion, would combine Time Warner’s media assets — including HBO and CNN — with the vast network of AT&T. Skeptics worry that the telecom company could privilege its own content over content produced by other companies.

The deal will be scrutinized by the Justice Department and, depending on the final terms, the Federal Communications Commission.

Democrat Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonLewandowski on potential NH Senate run: If I run, 'I'm going to win' Fighter pilot vs. astronaut match-up in Arizona could determine control of Senate Progressive Democrats' turnout plans simply don't add up MORE’s campaign has expressed concerns about the deal. Her Republican rival, Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpPossible GOP challenger says Trump doesn't doesn't deserve reelection, but would vote for him over Democrat O'Rourke: Trump driving global, U.S. economy into recession Manchin: Trump has 'golden opportunity' on gun reforms MORE, has gone further, using the deal to push his criticisms of journalism and media consolidation. 

“AT&T, the original and abusive ‘Ma Bell’ telephone monopoly, is now trying to buy Time Warner and thus the wildly anti-Trump CNN,” said Peter Navarro, a senior economic adviser to Trump’s campaign, in a statement this weekend. “Donald Trump would never approve such a deal because it concentrates too much power in the hands of the too and powerful few."