Trump meets with AT&T execs amid merger push

Trump meets with AT&T execs amid merger push
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President-elect Donald TrumpDonald TrumpJan. 6 panel faces double-edged sword with Alex Jones, Roger Stone Trump goes after Woodward, Costa over China Republicans seem set to win the midterms — unless they defeat themselves MORE on Thursday morning met with AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson as the company pushes for support for its planned merger with Time Warner.

Stephenson and Robert Quinn, AT&T’s senior vice president for legislative affairs, arrived at Trump Tower shortly after 9 a.m., according to pool reports. They were accompanied by another person who was not identified.

Bloomberg reported Thursday morning that the meeting was planned to discuss the $85.4 billion merger, which Trump came out against during the campaign. 


During a call with reporters Thursday morning, Trump’s incoming press secretary, Sean Spicer, deflected a question about what the topic of the meeting was and whether Trump had changed his stance on the merger.

“I think you’ve seen by the meetings that he’s had with other CEOs, his primary focus is how companies can continue to create jobs, lift up wages and the polices and regulations that are standing in the way of them creating further jobs for Americans, creating higher paying jobs and also creating economic growth,” Spicer said.

AT&T said that the merger did not up come during the meeting.

"Mr. Stephenson had a very good meeting with President-Elect Trump earlier today covering a wide-range of topics," said spokeswoman Margaret Boles in a statement. "AT&T’s proposed merger with Time Warner was not a topic of discussion."

"Rather, as the country’s leading investor of capital for each of the last five years, the conversation focused on how AT&T can work with the Trump administration to increase investment in the U.S., stimulate job creation in America, and make American companies more competitive globally."

Stephenson and Time Warner CEO Jeffrey Bewkes defended the merger in a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee in December.

Trump blasted the proposed merger in October after it was first reported.

"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 in a speech.

Bloomberg reported last week that Trump remains opposed to the deal, questions remain whether he is open to changing his stance as he surrounds himself with free-market conservatives for his administration.

Trump has kept up his attacks on CNN, a subsidiary of Time Warner. During a press conference Wednesday, his first since Election Day, Trump repeatedly shushed a CNN reporter who tried to ask a question and dismissed the network as "fake news."

The merger will be subject to approval by the Justice Department, but may avoid scrutiny from the Federal Communications Commission.

- Updated at 4 p.m.