By John Eggerton, Broadcasting & Cable Online, 6-12-18

A federal district court has ruled that AT&T and Time Warner can get together, making the Trump administration’s Justice Department the loser in the high-profile legal case.

That came in a highly anticipated announcement by D.C. District Court Judge Richard Leon, who had signaled weeks ago that the decision would be rendered at his court’s version of high noon: 4 p.m. Tuesday (June 12).

The judge concluded in a 172-page decision that DOJ “failed to meet its burden to establish that the proposed transaction is likely to lessen competition substantially,” and thus declined to enjoin the merger.

He found the government’s evidence unpersuasive and itswitness testimony unsupported, or even contradicted, by evidence.

Leon concluded that government had failed to clear the first hurdle of showing that the proposed merger is likely to increase Turner’s bargaining leverage in affiliate negotiations, so did not have to consider whether such increased leverage would lessen competition and violate antitrust laws.  » Read More