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Today, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia issued its decision in United States v AT&T, with Judge Richard J. Leon ruling that the the $85 billion AT&T-Time Warner merger can go forward.
The following can be attributed to John Bergmayer, Senior Counsel at Public Knowledge:
“This is a disappointing result, and we expect the government will appeal. In the meantime, not only may consumers be harmed directly by the anticompetitive harms that this merger will cause, such as higher bills and fewer choices of programming and provider, but also by the many other mergers it will encourage. Now, more than ever, we need reinvigorated regulatory oversight of the video marketplace -- such as program access and program carriage rules -- to ensure that smaller distributors and programmers, and consumers, aren’t harmed by an increasingly uncompetitive market. Additionally, the harms this deal will cause demonstrate why broadband users need strong, enforceable net neutrality rules on the books.
“Despite the outcome, we applaud the DOJ’s work in this case, including highlighting the dangers this merger will cause to the American people. Hopefully one bad decision will not dissuade the Antitrust Division from vigorously enforcing the nation’s antitrust laws, including by challenging mergers in court when appropriate.”