Time Warner chief: DOJ case against AT&T merger 'ridiculous'

Time Warner chief: DOJ case against AT&T merger 'ridiculous'
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The CEO of Time Warner on Wednesday argued in court that his company’s merger with AT&T is essential to compete with internet giants and dismissed the Justice Department's case against the deal as "ridiculous."

Jeff Bewkes took the stand in the trial over the $85 billion merger and blasted the Justice Department’s argument that the combined company would likely withhold Time Warner’s programming from competitors, according to Reuters.

“I think it’s ridiculous,” Bewkes said. “If our channels are not in distribution we lose lots of money [from subscriptions and advertising].”


Time Warner owns popular entertainment offerings such as CNN, HBO, TNT and TBS. Prosecutors argue that combining those assets with a paid TV provider like AT&T could harm competitors because the company would have the incentive to raise prices for those channels.

But AT&T and Time Warner argue they are inclined to make sure that the programming is as widely available as possible and that the merger will increase competition for online ad revenue that is being swept up by companies such as Facebook and Google.

The Time Warner chief reportedly told the court Wednesday that the merger will allow his company to use AT&T’s assets to offer targeted advertisements.

“We don’t have the tech platform, don’t have the engineers, don’t have the infrastructure,” Bewkes said, according to The New York Times.