American Cable Association asks to reverse AT&T antitrust decision


The American Cable Association (ACA), an entity that represents small and medium-sized operators, urged the appeals court to reverse the rulling that allowed the AT&T-Time Warner merger.
In June, District Judge Richard Leon allowed AT&T to complete the acquisition. However, the U.S. Justice Department (DOJ) is appealing that decision.
In an amicus brief to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, ACA says the lower court’s “incorrect and inconsistent” economic analysis demands that the ruling be reversed and the case re-tried, Multichannel reported.
The DOJ said that the incentives of the Turner channels would change once it was owned by AT&T, which also owns DTH operator DirecTV, Variety reported. ACA mentioned that Leon rejected that argument and the economic theory that companies will act to maximize profits of the firm as a whole. But later in the opinion, when analyzing pro-competitive efficiencies, the judge also assumed that AT&T would “maximize its profits as a whole,” at the corporate level.
According to the association, “those inconsistencies require reversal and a remand for reconsideration by the district court.” ACA was assisted by antitrust expert and Northwestern University professor William Rogerson, who was the FCC senior economist who oversaw the review of the proposed Comcast-Time Warner Cable, AT&T-DirecTV, and Charter-Time Warner Cable mergers.