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AT&T : Justice Department appeals approval of AT&T-Time Warner merger

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07/13/2018 | 12:31am CEST

The U.S. Department of Justice announced Thursday it will appeal a federal judge's approval of AT&T's merger with Time Warner.

The Justice Department filed a court notice that it is appealing U.S. District Judge Richard Leon's ruling to OK the $85.4 billion merger.

The department offered no additional comment beyond the one-sentnce filing.

AT&T General Counsel David McAtee issued a statement defending the original ruling.

"The court's decision could hardly have been more thorough, fact-based, and well-reasoned," McAtee said. "While the losing party in litigation always has the right to appeal if it wishes, we are surprised that the DOJ has chosen to do so under these circumstances. We are ready to defend the court's decision at the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals."

Leon advised the Justice Department not to seek an appeal, when he approved the merger -- which AT&T said was necessary to survive in an industry with competition from Netflix and Facebook -- in June.

"I do not believe that the government has a likelihood of success on the merits of an appeal," he wrote in his ruling. "The government has had this merger on hold, the video programming and distribution industry has continued to evolve at a breakneck pace."

The Department of Justice challenged the merger on the grounds that it would restrict pay-TV competition.

The deal was finalized two days after Leon's approval, allowing AT&T -- which owns DirecTV -- to acquire Time Warner and its properties including CNN, HBO, TBS and TNT.

Copyright 2018 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent., source US Top News

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
AT&T 0.30% 33.72 Delayed Quote.-13.27%
TIME WARNER 0.00%-End-of-day quote.7.98%
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Financials ($)
Sales 2018 173 B
EBIT 2018 32 531 M
Net income 2018 20 430 M
Debt 2018 170 B
Yield 2018 5,96%
P/E ratio 2018 11,54
P/E ratio 2019 11,51
EV / Sales 2018 2,39x
EV / Sales 2019 2,18x
Capitalization 244 B
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Mean consensus HOLD
Number of Analysts 29
Average target price 35,1 $
Spread / Average Target 4,5%
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NameTitle
Randall L. Stephenson Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer
John J. Stephens CFO, Principal Accounting Officer & Senior EVP
Joyce M. Roché Independent Director
Laura D'Andrea Tyson Independent Director
Matthew K. Rose Lead Independent Director
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