Justice Department Orders Time Warner To Sell CNN In Order To Win Approval For Merger With AT&T

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.

  • boobert

    Meanwhile, sinclair broadcasting is swallowing up hundreds of stations !

    • Normally I’m all in favor of swallowing…

    • TrueWords

      THIS MUST BE WATCHED…also time to ditch cable…

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GvtNyOzGogc

      • Lars Littlefield

        In comoedia vero est.

      • trog

        This Sinclair shit is scary, like next level FOX News and is even sneakier in how propaganda is folded into local broadcasts.

        • Dannielle

          Google is paying 97$ per hour,with weekly payouts.You can also avail this.
          On tuesday I got a brand new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $11752 this last four weeks..with-out any doubt it’s the most-comfortable job I have ever done .. It Sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
          !db345d:
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      • BJORN RAGNVALDR

        Cut cable exactly a year ago, coincidence? I think not.

    • kaydenpat

      Exactly. This is just another example of the creeping fascism that is sweeping over this country via Trump’s regime.

  • Tawreos

    Every time you think you are used to what a thin-skinned petty asshole this guy is he turns around and makes it worse. Grow the fuck up and learn to deal with criticism.

    Can we go back to the feel good election coverage?

  • Tulle Christensen

    Well that’s going to court…while I would rather not see the merger. saying no cause you do not like CNN is not legal

  • Silver Badger

    What is it going to take to rid our country of this asshole and his minions?

    • BJORN RAGNVALDR

      An accident, Dolores, can be an unhappy country’s best friend.

      • Anastasia Beaverhousen

        Great “Delores Claiborne” quote.

  • Circ09

    Paltry price to pay for a mega-merger that should never be allowed. We need to be breaking these entities up instead of allowing even less sources for our media.

  • greenmanTN

    Reality has a bias against Trump. Is he going to block that too?

    • Joe in PA

      See: Huckabilly-Sanders, Sarah

      • Boreal

        I don’t want to look at that thing. Please don’t make me.

    • Tulle Christensen

      he already does in his and his followers minds

  • Jean-Marc in Canada
  • Barry William Teske

    Oh look!
    Chicken runs with head cut off.
    Drops another dot.
    Follow the money.

  • Sam_Handwich
    • Snarkaholic

      Good! Many of us who live and/or work in A.C. hate his guts.

      • 2guysnamedjoe

        A.C. = ?

      • stanhope

        I thought only tops lived and worked in Anderson Cooper

    • Robincho

      Just returned from the South of France (where I noticed Tillerson sunning himself at Exxon Provence), and am wondering why nobody ever speaks of vacationing in the South of New York — although that happens all the time,,,

  • JustDucky
  • Lars Littlefield

    First, we need ourselves a Keebler toss. After lunch, we need a good ol’ fashioned Trump shoot. “Pull!”

  • Jean-Marc in Canada

    Trolling, Trolling, Trolling, I just keep on Trolling, I just keep on Trolling QueerGuy…

    https://twitter.com/sirlthr69/status/928353640821219328

    • Lars Littlefield

      I like their Can You Smell the Fear eau de toilette.

      • Anastasia Beaverhousen

        I hear they like the “Smells Like You Shit a Pinetree”poo-pouri for when you shit yourself over the next indictment..

  • TrueWords

    OH PLEASE!!!!

    http://www.reactiongifs.com/r/hsop.gif

    This is insane.

    How could divesting CNN be a legitimate condition of the merger?

    There’s no justification for that.

    This is Trump administration attempting to silence their critics in the media. CNN is really getting under Trump’s skin. His dictatorial tendencies are beginning to run rampant.

  • Bambino

    When the fucking moron is done with the MSM, he is coming after us who make fun of him on twitter. Hurry Mueller! Before the thin skin orange simian send his apes after us!!!
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d1437bb5a6994b85444090192b59ff12b8404ed73c80c3fa6f4d6b664da4b41d.gif

  • Paula

    Dumbshit Trump is probably thinking this will mean the end of CNN.

    • boatboy_srq

      It all depends on who would be in a position to buy Turner.

  • PickyPecker
  • Dreaming Vertebrate

    Perry, petty, PETTY!
    Arrest the dotard!

  • TheManicMechanic

    So some hard right business conglomerate can buy and control CNN, no doubt…

    • Dreaming Vertebrate

      Exactly their plan! Perhaps even the friggin’ Mercers!!

      • OdieDenCO

        donny TV formerly known as CNN

        • Dreaming Vertebrate

          Ack!! The nightmare!!

    • pch1013

      Mercer.

  • Bambino

    Is anyone surprise by the DOJ who gone after a woman who laughed at the leprechaun twice?

  • Todd20036

    Hmm, using a federal agency to manipulate private businesses.
    I wonder if it’s illegal…
    Oh, republicans are doing it? Never mind.

  • Paula

    Sounds like a court case that is going to take a long time to work its way through the courts. Plenty of time for CNN to keep up the pressure. Time to turn up the temperature CNN.

  • MikeBx2
  • Dreaming Vertebrate

    *Regulatory bodies in more than a dozen other countries have already given their approvals to the deal. The U.S. is the final country from which AT&T needs approval.

    Sounds like the Paris Accords all over again. Only Trump’s illegitimate admin objects!

  • Bambino

    Remember Richard Branson, billionaire who founded Virgin Group impression on the fucking moron? Here is the excerpt:
    Some years ago, Mr Trump invited me to lunch for a one-to-one meeting at his apartment in Manhattan. We had not met before and I accepted. Even before the starters arrived he began telling me about how he had asked a number of people for help after his latest bankruptcy and how five of them were unwilling to help. He told me he was going to spend the rest of his life destroying these five people.

    He didn’t speak about anything else and I found it very bizarre. I told him I didn’t think it was the best way of spending his life. I said it was going to eat him up, and do more damage to him than them. There must be more constructive ways to spend the rest of your life. (Hopefully my advice didn’t lead to him running for President!)
    The first impression and only encounter that says it all about a very shallow human being.

    • AmeriCanadian

      Who are those five people? Have they been destroyed?

      • djcoastermark

        Well, we don’t hear about them, there’s that.

        • Tread

          It’s probably because they don’t exist.

          • robindaybird

            or they’re so beyond Trump’s level it’s like an ant trying to bite someone through their shoe.

    • Cuberly Deux
  • Dreaming Vertebrate

    AT&T said unwilling to part with CNN, HBO, TNT, WB studio.
    AT&T Inc. is ramping up preparations to fight the U.S. Justice Department in court if the agency sues to block the $85.4 billion acquisition of Time Warner Inc., according to people familiar with the matter.
    Fight the illegitimate bastards!!

  • Leo

    O/T Looking for more details but it looks like control of Virginia’s House of Delegates is down to 2 recounts. 1 for 50-50, 2 for control.

    • Lazycrockett

      Lt. Gov breaks a tie!!

      • Lazycrockett

        tied vote that is.

    • Fingers crossed…

    • Tawreos

      please let sanity continue to triumph.

  • Dreaming Vertebrate

    Time Warner (TWX) currently down 6% thanks to Trump’s petty man-brat grievance.
    Market cap now only 69.15 Billion. Trump needs to repay these share holders – out of his own pocket!

    • Dreaming Vertebrate

      A closer look shows TWX down almost 10% in the past week.
      Looks like the justice department has been leaking!!
      Wonder who amongst Trump’s billionaire buddies have been shorting the stock! Wilbur? Mnuchkin?

      • Tawreos

        Maybe when they get done with Mueller they can have trials for insider trading

        • Dreaming Vertebrate

          Isn’t that what snared Martha Stewart?
          And she went to jail!

          • William

            She lied to the FBI. None of the insider trading stuff was proven.

          • Dreaming Vertebrate

            But she did sell those shares of ImClone Systems just before the FDA ruled against their new drug.

          • William

            True, but she wasn’t prosecuted for that.

          • Dreaming Vertebrate

            It’s always the cover-up!
            Same thing will likely snare Dumpf!

          • Tawreos

            Yeah, I forgot they will only go away on insider trading if they are gay or a woman, apparently straight white guys can get away with it.

          • NowAnAgnostic

            For $40K, wasn’t it?

  • William
  • MikeBx2

    O/T: Oh sure, why not. Sheriff Clarke and Donna Brazile.
    https://twitter.com/SheriffClarke/status/928340680518324225

    • Lazycrockett

      wtf?????? Donna what are you on?

      • Paula

        Not our side, evidently.

        • Tread

          Clearly on her own.

    • Dreaming Vertebrate

      Donna is a changeling, and now apparently a quisling.

    • Paula

      Oh, Donna! Doubleplusungood.

    • Tulle Christensen

      so she is now hanging out with the white supremacist black guy

    • Dreaming Vertebrate

      Any one else get a sick feeling in their stomach looking at the bizarre pairing in that photo? I do not trust her.

    • fuzzybits

      The world just doesn’t make any sense anymore.

    • danolgb

      I agree the DNC had a problem. It put Donna Brazile “in charge.” I’m glad Hillary wasn’t letting Donna go run wild with the DNC charge card.

    • Claude Jacques Bonhomme

      I used to think she was respectable.

      • CB

        She’s revealed herself as a Coulter-esque slag.

        • Claude Jacques Bonhomme

          But the Coultergeist is in a class of her own.

    • hdtex
  • Gerry Fisher

    In addition to him trying to stick a knife into the free press (starting with CNN), it’s interesting how this seems to be saying, “It’s OK to have a big monopoly, but just not a yuuuuuge monopoly.”

    Oy, the times we life in (are surviving).

    • Tulle Christensen

      What worries me is not ATT owning CNN it is if you live in a Time Warner cable area your choice for internet provider will be only one company

  • Cuberly Deux

    The DOJ acting as Roy Cohn surrogate.

    Attack your perceived enemies, mercilessly.

  • Paula

    Sell CNN to somebody that is willing to keep it as it is. I am sure that Mexico would be happy to let them set there. An American network broadcast from Mexico.

    • Lars Littlefield

      Maybe Ted Turner could buy it back. It was worth watching when he owned it.

  • Dave Babler

    So is this Cillizza’s broken clock moment?

  • CottonBlimp

    What would the actual effect of selling CNN be? Unless they sold it to Sinclair or some other right wing interest, I actually don’t see how this would be bad for CNN. If anything, wouldn’t it make the station more independent?

    Remember, Roger Stone was masturbating to the fantasy that AT&T would own CNN and fire everyone who spoke out of turn.

    • By all means, forcing CNN to split from Time Warner could be a legitimate concern for the Government to have. It also might be a good thing for CNN in the long term. However, because of who Trump is, this reeks of impropriety.

      • CottonBlimp

        I gotta admit it’s suspicious that they have to specifically sell CNN and not any of the other channels they own. I’m just not sure what the goal is here.

        • If the DOJs reasoning is in fact nefarious, I would suspect that they are hoping that either a new owner would drive CNN hard to the right, or that CNN would struggles with new ownership and goes bankrupt.

  • Richard B

    This is the way a third world despotic dictator runs a country.
    Imagine what the republicans would do if President Obama dared to do something like this? They would have tried to have impeached him in a heartbeat, but then again , President Obama would never have done something like this.
    This is what happens when a demigod scam-artist cheats his way into the White House. Now with the republican party’s blessing, Trump seeks to punish CNN for reporting the Russian collusion story and to muck things up on a business transaction, will hold up AT&T acquisition of CNN if they don’t promise to cover only nice stories about the narcissist .
    Hurry up Robert Mueller, hurry up!

  • CraigNJ

    Yup, that’s the big government staying out of business’ way that the rethuglicans promised.

  • DesertSun59

    Predictable and predicted. This is further proof that the POTUS has zero regard for the rule of law, business or American democracy.

    • Cuberly Deux

      …and he utilizes a government agency as his personal retaliatory lawyer.

  • Tomcat

    How long until ATT owns it all once again?

  • Tomcat

    At one time this country had laws to protect us from corporations buying up everything and having monopolizes. I guess business is all that needs protecting these days.

  • boatboy_srq

    So what would happen to the MGM library? That’s a Turner property IIRC. TW will be worth quite a bit less without that.

  • coram nobis

    And as a condition, CNN gets muzzled on Trump’s command.

    https://thinkprogress.org/justice-department-cnn-merger-3f844f530954/

  • Vinny DeFeo

    If they sell CNN, Mercer will probably buy it and turn it into another Breitbart.

  • bkmn

    Yes, the cable news network that hired SEVEN Trump sycophants to boost him on air is against him. How many Hillary people did they hire? I believe the number is zero.

    • leastyebejudged

      Neither is acceptable.

      So I guess I hate both of you.

  • JCF

    http://www.fletcherarmstrongblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/First-Amendment-Rated-E-for-Everyone.jpg

    We will defend it! Freedom of the Press! Freedom to trash Drumpf for the Fascist he is!

  • Paul

    Forget Russia…this is impeachment material right here.

    • leastyebejudged

      Yeah, right, it’s impeachable when they do it.

      Both parties have made corporate america so powerful that it runs roughshod over everybody, but particularly the poor and the sick.

  • leastyebejudged

    ALL the elected scumbags have undermined anittrust legislation and promoted monopolies, they should all be fucking impeached.

  • It’s all a nefarious plot to get Sinclair Broadcasting to buy CNN and turn it into a far right media outlet – worse than Fox – with Sebastian Gorka at the anchor desk.

    It will do nothing more than add to the impeachment file for Cheetolini.

  • pgarayt

    What do they call business and government being indistinguishable again…um…um…help me out here, it’s right on the tip of my tongue.