The Latest: Judge approves merger of AT&T and Time Warner - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

The Latest: Judge approves merger of AT&T and Time Warner

(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File). FILE - In this Monday, Oct. 24, 2016, file photo, the AT&T logo is positioned above one of its retail stores, in New York.  The fate of the AT&T-Time Warner merger, a massive media deal opposed by the government ... (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File). FILE - In this Monday, Oct. 24, 2016, file photo, the AT&T logo is positioned above one of its retail stores, in New York. The fate of the AT&T-Time Warner merger, a massive media deal opposed by the government ...

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Latest on the resolution of the AT&T-Time Warner antitrust case (all times local):

9:55 p.m.

A federal judge has approved the $85 billion mega-merger of AT&T and Time Warner, potentially ushering in a wave of media consolidation while shaping how much consumers pay for streaming TV and movies.

U.S. District Judge Richard Leon green-lit the merger without imposing major conditions as some experts had expected. The Trump Justice Department had sued to block the $85 billion merger, arguing it would hurt competition in cable and satellite TV and jack up costs to consumers for streaming TV and movies.

Now, the phone and pay-TV giant AT&T will be allowed to absorb the owner of CNN, HBO, the Warner Bros. movie studio, "Game of Thrones," coveted sports programming and other "must-see" shows. The Justice Department could appeal the ruling, although it said only that it is considering its options.

__

6:10 p.m.

One expert warns that other mega-media deals will still face regulatory concerns despite AT&T's clearance to take over Time Warner.

David Turetsky, a professor at the State University of New York at Albany, says the AT&T ruling is based on "specific facts and evidence" that may or may not apply in other cases.

Larry Downes, project director at the Georgetown Center for Business and Public Policy, adds that the government had a poor case throughout the AT&T trial. He says the government was "just wrong from the start" on antitrust law and assumptions on how the media industry is evolving.

Still, Tuesday's ruling is likely to clear the way for other mega-media deals. For starters, Comcast is expected to make a bid for Fox's entertainment business as early as Wednesday. Comcast has promised to top Disney's $52.4 billion all-stock offer for the bulk of Twenty-First Century Fox. AT&T's favorable ruling would seem to clear any regulatory hesitation.

___

5:35 p.m.

AT&T says it will complete its purchase of Time Warner by June 20 now that a federal judge has cleared the deal.

AT&T general counsel David McAtee says the company is "pleased" with the verdict after a "full and fair trial on merits."

Government lawyer Makan Delrahim says the Department of Justice is "disappointed" with the decision. In a statement, he warns that the pay-TV industry will be "less competitive and less innovative" as a result of merger.

The government could appeal. Delrahim says officials will review the decision and "consider next steps in light of our commitment to preserving competition for the benefit of American consumers."

In Tuesday's ruling, U.S. District Judge Richard Leon rejected the government's argument that the AT&T-Time Warner combination would hurt competition in pay TV and cost consumers hundreds of millions of dollars more to stream TV and movies.

___

5:20 p.m.

Investors are welcoming a federal judge's approval of AT&T's $85 billion takeover of Time Warner.

A rejection might have chilled possible multibillion-dollar deals involving other media companies. Instead, a rush to consolidate is likely.

In after-market trading following the ruling, shares of Time Warner rose nearly 5 percent and AT&T shares fell 1.6 percent. Shares of Twenty-First Century Fox rose more than 4 percent, while Disney's stock dropped slightly more than 1 percent. Disney has a deal to buy the bulk of Fox, but Comcast is now expected to make a counterbid, especially with the favorable ruling for AT&T. Comcast shares fell 3.3 percent, though.

Shares of both T-Mobile and Sprint rose; their proposed combination is pending.

U.S. District Judge Richard Leon rejected the government's argument that the AT&T-Time Warner combination would hurt competition in pay TV and cost consumers hundreds of millions of dollars more to stream TV and movies.

___

5:05 p.m.

U.S. District Judge Richard Leon said the government failed to meet its burden of proof in its antitrust suit against the AT&T-Time Warner merger.

Leon said the government had "taken its best shot" to oppose the merger. But, he added, "the government's evidence is too thin a reed for this court to rely on."

The judge made his remarks to a packed courtroom in an unusual session weeks after the trial ended.

Leon also said it would be harmful for him to put a temporary stay on the merger while the government appeals his decision, if it does so. The "drop dead" deadline for the merger to be completed is June 21. If not completed by then, either company could walk away, and AT&T would have to pay a $500 million breakup fee.

___

5 p.m.

Now that a federal judge has approved AT&T's $85 billion takeover of Time Warner, other companies are likely to rush to consolidate.

Tuesday's ruling signaled that federal regulators will have a hard time stopping companies from getting bigger by gobbling up rivals and the programming they own. Even if a company doesn't need to get bigger right away, it might need to do so to prevent a competitor from overshadowing it.

For starters, expect Comcast to make a bid for Fox's entertainment business as early as Wednesday. Disney has made a $52.4 billion all-stock offer for the bulk of Twenty-First Century Fox, including the studios behind the "Avatar" movies, "The Simpsons" and "Modern Family." Comcast has promised to top that. AT&T's favorable ruling would seem to clear any regulatory hesitation.

___

4:45 p.m.

A federal judge has approved AT&T's merger with Time Warner. He rejected the government's argument that it would hurt competition in pay TV and cost consumers hundreds of millions of dollars more to stream TV and movies.

U.S. District Judge Richard Leon announced the decision Tuesday, bringing the biggest antitrust trial in years to an end. The ruling blesses the $85 billion merger, one of the biggest media deals ever. It allows AT&T, a phone and pay-TV giant, to absorb the owner of CNN, HBO, the Warner Bros. movie studio, "Game of Thrones," coveted sports programming and other "must-see" shows.

The Department of Justice could decide to appeal the verdict. AT&T did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

___

2:15 a.m.

The fate of the AT&T-Time Warner merger, a massive media deal opposed by the government that could shape how much consumers pay for streaming TV and movies, rests in the hands of a federal judge.

U.S. District Judge Richard Leon is expected to announce in court Tuesday his decision in the biggest antitrust trial in years. The Trump Justice Department sued to block the $85 billion merger, arguing that it would hurt competition in pay TV and cost consumers more to stream TV and movies.

The mega-merger is a high-stakes bet by AT&T Inc. on the synergy between companies that produce news and entertainment and those that funnel it to consumers - who spend more time watching video on phones and tablets and less time on traditional live TV on a big screen.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • National SportsMore>>

  • Tavares' future, Flames-Hurricanes trade spice up NHL draft

    Tavares' future, Flames-Hurricanes trade spice up NHL draft

    Saturday, June 23 2018 8:05 PM EDT2018-06-24 00:05:15 GMT
    Saturday, June 23 2018 11:38 PM EDT2018-06-24 03:38:34 GMT
    (AP Photo/Nick Wass, File). FILE - In this Nov. 2, 2017, file photo, New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) skates with the puck during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Washington Capitals, in Washington. A jump in the salary ca...(AP Photo/Nick Wass, File). FILE - In this Nov. 2, 2017, file photo, New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) skates with the puck during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Washington Capitals, in Washington. A jump in the salary ca...
    John Tavares' future, Flames-Hurricanes trade spice things up on Day 2 of NHL draft.
    John Tavares' future, Flames-Hurricanes trade spice things up on Day 2 of NHL draft.
  • Houlihan beats Simpson for USATF title in 1,500 meters

    Houlihan beats Simpson for USATF title in 1,500 meters

    Saturday, June 23 2018 6:08 PM EDT2018-06-23 22:08:32 GMT
    Saturday, June 23 2018 11:38 PM EDT2018-06-24 03:38:31 GMT
    (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall). Erica Bougard clears the bar during the heptathlon high jump at the U.S. Championships athletics meet, Saturday, June 23, 2018, in Des Moines, Iowa.(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall). Erica Bougard clears the bar during the heptathlon high jump at the U.S. Championships athletics meet, Saturday, June 23, 2018, in Des Moines, Iowa.
    Shelby Houlihan stormed past Jenny Simpson to win the women's 1,500 meters at the USATF national outdoor championships in Des Moines.
    Shelby Houlihan stormed past Jenny Simpson to win the women's 1,500 meters at the USATF national outdoor championships in Des Moines.
  • Pitcher Anthony DeSclafani hits grand slam, Reds rout Cubs

    Pitcher Anthony DeSclafani hits grand slam, Reds rout Cubs

    Saturday, June 23 2018 7:45 PM EDT2018-06-23 23:45:46 GMT
    Saturday, June 23 2018 11:38 PM EDT2018-06-24 03:38:27 GMT
    (AP Photo/John Minchillo). Cincinnati Reds' Anthony DeSclafani, left, hits a grand slam off Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Brian Duensing in the third inning of a baseball game, Saturday, June 23, 2018, in Cincinnati.(AP Photo/John Minchillo). Cincinnati Reds' Anthony DeSclafani, left, hits a grand slam off Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Brian Duensing in the third inning of a baseball game, Saturday, June 23, 2018, in Cincinnati.
    Cincinnati pitcher Anthony DeSclafani hits grand slam, Reds pound Cubs 11-2 for 6th straight win.
    Cincinnati pitcher Anthony DeSclafani hits grand slam, Reds pound Cubs 11-2 for 6th straight win.
  • Strange NewsMore>>

  • Ichi-who? Suzuki sits on M's bench in fake mustache disguise

    Ichi-who? Suzuki sits on M's bench in fake mustache disguise

    Friday, June 22 2018 8:04 AM EDT2018-06-22 12:04:47 GMT
    Saturday, June 23 2018 10:43 PM EDT2018-06-24 02:43:51 GMT
    (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun). Ichiro Suzuki, special assistant to the chairman of the Seattle Mariners, wears a fake mustache and a hoodie as he sits in the dugout and watches the New York Yankees bat during the first inning of a baseball game Thursday, Ju...(AP Photo/Bill Kostroun). Ichiro Suzuki, special assistant to the chairman of the Seattle Mariners, wears a fake mustache and a hoodie as he sits in the dugout and watches the New York Yankees bat during the first inning of a baseball game Thursday, Ju...
    AP photos show Ichiro Suzuki hiding in fake mustache, glasses in dugout during game.
    AP photos show Ichiro Suzuki hiding in fake mustache, glasses in dugout during game.
  • Man finds rattlesnake under hood while trying to start car

    Man finds rattlesnake under hood while trying to start car

    Thursday, June 21 2018 12:52 PM EDT2018-06-21 16:52:48 GMT
    Saturday, June 23 2018 10:33 PM EDT2018-06-24 02:33:32 GMT
    An upstate New York man trying to jump-start his car was greeted by an unusual sound coming from his engine _ the rattle of a venomous timber rattlesnake.
    An upstate New York man trying to jump-start his car was greeted by an unusual sound coming from his engine _ the rattle of a venomous timber rattlesnake.
  • Bank robbery suspect gives ID, easily tracked by police

    Bank robbery suspect gives ID, easily tracked by police

    Friday, June 22 2018 7:46 AM EDT2018-06-22 11:46:34 GMT
    Saturday, June 23 2018 10:13 PM EDT2018-06-24 02:13:31 GMT
    Police say a quick-thinking bank teller convinced a suspected robber to hand over his own license.
    Police say a quick-thinking bank teller convinced a suspected robber to hand over his own license.
  • National politicsPolitics in the US: ImmigrationMore>>

  • Administration seeks to expand immigrant family detention

    Administration seeks to expand immigrant family detention

    Saturday, June 23 2018 12:26 AM EDT2018-06-23 04:26:10 GMT
    Saturday, June 23 2018 11:36 PM EDT2018-06-24 03:36:26 GMT
    (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File). FILE - In this July 31, 2014, file photo, an artificial turf soccer field sits in the middle of the Karnes County Residential Center in Karnes City, Texas. The immigration detention facility has been retooled to house adults ...(AP Photo/Eric Gay, File). FILE - In this July 31, 2014, file photo, an artificial turf soccer field sits in the middle of the Karnes County Residential Center in Karnes City, Texas. The immigration detention facility has been retooled to house adults ...
    (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File). FILE - In this July 31, 2014, file photo, an artificial turf soccer field sits in the middle of the Karnes County Residential Center in Karnes City, Texas. The immigration detention facility has been retooled to house adults ...(AP Photo/Eric Gay, File). FILE - In this July 31, 2014, file photo, an artificial turf soccer field sits in the middle of the Karnes County Residential Center in Karnes City, Texas. The immigration detention facility has been retooled to house adults ...

    The Trump administration is calling for the expanded use of family detention for immigrant parents and children who are stopped along the U.S.-Mexico border.

    The Trump administration is calling for the expanded use of family detention for immigrant parents and children who are stopped along the U.S.-Mexico border.

  • The Latest: Kansas welfare agency says children's needs met

    The Latest: Kansas welfare agency says children's needs met

    Friday, June 22 2018 12:31 PM EDT2018-06-22 16:31:05 GMT
    Saturday, June 23 2018 11:35 PM EDT2018-06-24 03:35:53 GMT
    (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky). Darwin Micheal Mejia, right, holds hands with his mother, Beata Mariana de Jesus Mejia-Mejia, during a news conference following their reunion at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, Friday, June 22...(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky). Darwin Micheal Mejia, right, holds hands with his mother, Beata Mariana de Jesus Mejia-Mejia, during a news conference following their reunion at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, Friday, June 22...
    The U.N human rights office says President Donald Trump's decision to stop the U.S. policy separating migrant parents from their children doesn't go far enough.
    The U.N human rights office says President Donald Trump's decision to stop the U.S. policy separating migrant parents from their children doesn't go far enough.
  • Trump sabotages GOP plans in Congress. Again.

    Trump sabotages GOP plans in Congress. Again.

    Friday, June 22 2018 3:07 PM EDT2018-06-22 19:07:08 GMT
    Saturday, June 23 2018 11:35 PM EDT2018-06-24 03:35:41 GMT
    (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite). Demonstrators with the Poor People's Campaign await processing by U.S. Capitol Police after being peacefully arrested at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 21, 2018, where they protested the Trump administration a...(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite). Demonstrators with the Poor People's Campaign await processing by U.S. Capitol Police after being peacefully arrested at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 21, 2018, where they protested the Trump administration a...
    President Donald Trump is suggesting that any measure the House passes is doomed in the Senate anyway.
    President Donald Trump is suggesting that any measure the House passes is doomed in the Senate anyway.
Powered by Frankly