U.S. Justice Department asks judge to force AT&T to sell Turner or DirecTV

The U.S. Justice Department said in a post-trial brief that Judge Richard Leon could approved AT&T-Time Warner deal on the condition that it not include Turner or pay TV operator DirecTV.
“The evidence at trial demonstrated that the bulk of the anticompetitive effects flow from the proposed combination of Turner with DirecTV,” said the Justice Department attorneys in the document made public this week.
Last week, AT&T and Time Warner said in a brief that they want the judge to approve the merger without conditions. According to a CNN report, AT&T has long rejected the idea of selling either Turner or DirecTV, saying that doing so would completely negate the point of the merger. AT&T insists that it needs to merge with Time Warner to compete with the emerging digital video services.
The telecommunications company also said that the DOJ “did not even begin to make a credible case that the merger would likely harm competition, substantially or even just a little.”
The Department of Justice filed a lawsuit to block the AT&T-Time Warner merger in November 2017. The antitrust trial began in March of this year. AT&T announced the purchase of Time Warner for USD 85.4 billion in October 2016.