Justice Dept. officials trying to appeal AT&T-Time Warner deal: report

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Officials in the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division are seeking to appeal a federal judge’s decision to sign off on the $85 billion merger of AT&T and Time Warner, Fox Business Network reported Wednesday.

However, the plan to file an appeal is facing pushback from the U.S. Solicitor General’s office, which must approve appeals from the Justice Department in any federal court or the Supreme Court, FBN reported.

One official told FBN that the office of U.S. Solicitor General Noel Francisco believes that “the government has limited capabilities of successful appeals and you don’t want to squander those on cases that are borderline.”

{mosads}U.S. District Judge Richard Leon ruled on June 12 that AT&T could move forward with its purchase of Time Warner, giving the telecommunications giant an entry point to the content business. 

In his ruling, Leon rejected the government’s argument that allowing the takeover would create a communications behemoth that could snuff out competition and raise prices for consumers. 

He also urged the Justice Department not to seek a stay of the ruling ahead of the June 21 merger deadline. 

AT&T and Time Warner finalized the merger days after Leon handed down his ruling, leaving many to believe that the government would not seek to appeal the decision. Still, the Justice Department has 60 days after the ruling to file an appeal. 

Tags Antitrust Division AT&T Justice Department Solicitor General Time Warner
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