Justice Department appeals approval of AT&T-Time Warner deal

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The Justice Department's antitrust chief Makan Delrahim said on Thursday his "line is always open" if AT&T decides it wants to settle the case the government has brought to stop the telecom giant's acquisition of Time Warner. (Shutterstock/CNNMoney)The Justice Department’s antitrust chief Makan Delrahim said on Thursday his “line is always open” if AT&T decides it wants to settle the case the government has brought to stop the telecom giant’s acquisition of Time Warner. (Shutterstock/CNNMoney)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Stung by a federal judge’s dismissal of its objections to AT&T’s megamerger with Time Warner, the Trump Justice Department is challenging the decision with a legal appeal.

The Justice Department said Thursday it is appealing the ruling last month by U.S. District Judge Richard Leon, which blessed one of the biggest media deals ever following a landmark antitrust trial.

Leon rejected the government’s argument that the phone and pay-TV giant’s $81 billion takeover of the entertainment conglomerate would hurt competition, limit choices and jack up prices for consumers to stream TV and movies.

[Related: Here’s the new AT&T]

Leon’s ruling allowed Dallas-based AT&T to absorb the owner of CNN, HBO, the Warner Bros. movie studio, “Game of Thrones,” coveted sports programming and other “must-see” shows.

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