The New York Times reports:
The Justice Department has called on AT&T and Time Warner to sell Turner Broadcasting, the group of cable channels that includes CNN, as a potential requirement for approving the companies’ pending $85.4 billion deal, people briefed on the matter said on Wednesday.
The demands set up a potential battle over the fate of the long-in-the-works deal that would create a colossus straddling the worlds of media and telecommunications at a time when upstarts like Netflix are disrupting traditional players in both industries.
If the Justice Department formally makes either demand a requisite for approval, AT&T and Time Warner would almost certainly take the matter to court to challenge the government’s legal basis for blocking the transaction. President Trump has long accused CNN of harboring a bias against him.
NYT: Trump’s DOJ wants Time Warner to sell CNN before it will approve the AT&T merger. https://t.co/RYwKhxRgzJ
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) November 8, 2017
The Trump administration called on Time Warner to sell CNN as a condition of its AT&T merger, so now Americans have the rare chance to pick sides between a capitalist monopoly and an authoritarian kleptocracy.
— Nick Jack Pappas (@Pappiness) November 8, 2017
A chapter in my new book explores scenarios of how Trump might further attack democracy before 2020. Using this merger as leverage to pressure CNN was one I predicted. His authoritarian impulses playing out almost daily. https://t.co/3YcaQyIthY
— Brian Klaas (@brianklaas) November 8, 2017
Oh yes a president’s personal distaste should totally dictate the terms of a massive merger https://t.co/2UQG2dvghT
— Chris Cillizza (@CillizzaCNN) November 8, 2017