AT&T CEO: Trump, Kaine are 'uninformed' on Time Warner merger

AT&T CEO: Trump, Kaine are 'uninformed' on Time Warner merger
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Candidates in the White House race who have expressed skepticism about AT&T's proposed merger with Time Warner are “uninformed,” the CEO of AT&T said Tuesday.

"I'm not surprised," said Randall Stephenson when asked about comments from Republican presidential nominee Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump calls Sri Lankan prime minister following church bombings Ex-Trump lawyer: Mueller knew Trump had to call investigation a 'witch hunt' for 'political reasons' The biggest challenge from the Mueller Report depends on the vigilance of everyone MORE and Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineOnly four Dem senators have endorsed 2020 candidates Democratic proposals to overhaul health care: A 2020 primer Dems ask Justice Dept to release findings of Acosta-Epstein investigation MORE, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “They are uninformed comments."

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"Anybody who characterizes this as a means to raise prices is ignoring the basic premise of what we're trying to do here."

His comments, at a conference hosted by the Wall Street Journal, come as the companies brace for a major regulatory battle over the proposed $85 billion deal. The review will include the Justice Department and potentially the Federal Communications Commission.

Trump has been staunchly against the deal since before it was formally announced.

“As an example of the power structure I’m fighting, AT&T is buying Time Warner and thus CNN, a deal we will not approve in my administration because it’s too much concentration of power in the hands of too few,” he said on Saturday.
 
Kaine, a Democratic senator from Virginia, also expressed reservations about the deal over the weekend.
 
If the deal went through, critics say they’re worried that AT&T could use its distribution channels to give preferential treatment to content produced by its subsidiary. The company says that, because the two firms do different things, there are not traditional antitrust concerns.
 
Stephenson has argued that any concerns can be handled through conditions placed on the companies by regulators.