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Justice Department will appeal $85 billion AT&T, Time Warner merger

The deal was wrapped up and finalized last month.
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Written by Natalie Gagliordi, Contributor on

AT&T's $85 billion purchase of Time Warner is once again facing a regulatory battle with the US Department of Justice.

According to a court filing, the Justice Department plans to appeal the ruling by US District Court Judge Richard Leon that approved the merger with no conditions.

The deal was wrapped up and finalized last month.

The Trump administration has opposed the deal from the start. The Justice Department sued to block it last year, alleging the takeover would harm competition, increase prices for consumers, and reduce innovation.

In his nearly 200-page opinion approving the merger, Judge Leon said that if the government asked him to stay the court order while the Justice Department appealed the case -- in other words, to keep the merger on hold during the appeals process -- he would refuse to do so. Were he to grant a stay during the appeals process, the merger would not have been completed before the June 21 "break-up date" for the deal.

Leon also wrote that if the DOJ appealed and won, the Circuit Court would have no qualms about unwinding the merger. The Justice Department had 60 days to appeal the merger after it was approved.

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