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 GrassleyTen post-Mueller questions that could turn the tables on Russia collusion investigators On The Money: Conservatives rally behind Moore for Fed | White House interviewing other candidates | Trump, Dems spar on Tax Day | Budget watchdogs bemoan 'debt denialism' GOP senators double down on demand for Clinton email probe documents 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 Leahy20 Dems demand no more money for ICE agents, Trump wall The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump, Dems prep for Mueller report's release The Hill's Morning Report — Combative Trump aims at Pelosi before Russia report 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 ClintonMcAuliffe says he won't run for president in 2020 Chuck Todd slams reports that DOJ briefed Trump on Mueller findings: 'This is actual collusion' Crowdfund campaign to aid historically black churches hit by fires raises over M MORE’s campaign has expressed concerns about the deal. Her Republican rival, Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Dems demand Barr cancel 'inappropriate' press conference on Mueller report DOJ plans to release 'lightly redacted' version of Mueller report Thursday: WaPo Nadler accuses Barr of 'unprecedented steps' to 'spin' Mueller report 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."