Judge in a federal prosecutor's court on Thursday grilled the Justice Department (DOJ) over his challenge to a lower court…
Judge in a federal prosecutor’s court on Thursday grilled the Justice Department (DOJ) over his challenge to a lower court decision to bless the AT & T-Time Warner merger.
The government is trying to block $ 85 billion, but faces a heavy burden in the appeal process and took tough court questions.
“This is a merger that will shape industry for decades to come,” Michael Murray, DOJ’s lawyer, said at his oral opinion before the DC Circuit Court of Appeals.
It was unclear of the difficult question of whether the judges will land in consideration of the appeal. The question was concentrated on the economic model that the government has called in the court earlier this year and the interpreter’s interpretation of it in its decision to approve the merger unconditionally.
In a brief application to the Appellate Court in August, DOJ claimed that the DC District Court Judge Richard Leon ignored “basic principles of economy and common sense” to bless the affair.
The trademark mark falls for the first time as an administration has gone to court to block a vertical merger since the Nixon era. DOJ and other critics say that the agreement would give AT & T and its television provider undue leverage over competitors negotiating to distribute Time Warner content.
Murray claimed that the only threat Time Warner could black out their programming for a vendor will allow it to load more for content even though the likelihood of such a blackout is slim. He said Leon was wrong to focus on the odds of what arose.
AT & T lawyer Peter Keisler opposed the government’s failure to meet its burden to prove that the concentration is damaging to competition. Keisler argued that AT & T’s promise of arbitration in negotiations with other suppliers erases the threat of a blackout.
“The Ministry of Justice appreciates the Court’s careful consideration of this important case and we are waiting for a decision,” says spokesman Jeremy Edwards after the hearing.
AT & T completed its acquisition of Time Warner in July, only days after Leon ruled to their advantage.
Hörsel comes as one of Time Warner’s most valuable features, HBO is locked in a contract fighting with Dish Network, resulting in HBO’s first ever blackout. The match was not mentioned during Thursday’s oral argument.
A chairman of AT & T said in a statement: “We appreciate the Court’s attention to advocacy’s argument and look forward to making its decision.”
The third panel is expected to rule over the appeal at the beginning of next year.
Updated at 1