AT&T announces it has completed acquisition of Time Warner

AT&T announces it has completed acquisition of Time Warner
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AT&T announced Thursday evening that it has completed its acquisition of Time Warner, two days after a federal judge gave the telecommunication and entertainment giants the green light to go ahead with their $85 billion merger. 

"The content and creative talent at Warner Bros., HBO and Turner are first-rate. Combine all that with AT&T's strengths in direct-to-consumer distribution, and we offer customers a differentiated, high-quality, mobile-first entertainment experience," AT&T's chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson said in a statement. 

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U.S. District Judge Richard Leon announced the decision on Tuesday, delivering a blow to the Trump administration's Department of Justice (DOJ). The move gives AT&T control over channels such as CNN, HBO, TBS and TNT. 

Leon said the DOJ did not demonstrate that the merger would hurt competition, and urged prosecutors not to seek a stay ahead of the companies' merger deadline on June 21, which he said would cause "irreparable harm" to the deal.

The deal was initially announced in December 2016 and was immediately met with criticism from President TrumpDonald John TrumpHannity urges Trump not to fire 'anybody' after Rosenstein report Ben Carson appears to tie allegation against Kavanaugh to socialist plot Five takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's fiery first debate MORE, who frequently criticizes CNN's coverage. 

"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," then-candidate Trump said in a campaign speech. 

The DOJ had sued in November against the vertical merger, which involved two companies that don’t directly compete with each other. Prosecutors argued that the deal could be used to suppress competition and raise prices for consumers.

Even though the deal has been closed, the DOJ has 60 days to appeal the decision.