AT&T lawsuit over Time Warner deal shows tough turn on antitrust

0
41

The U.S. lawsuit to stop AT&T Inc.’s takeover of Time Warner Inc. has sparked accusations that the Justice Department, driven by political meddling from the Trump White House, is pursuing a risky case that it’s bound to lose. Yet the move actually follows a mainstream approach to antitrust policy that sees risks to competition even from mergers that don’t combine direct competitors. The difference this time is the hard line drawn by the government on how to fix the resulting harm. Typically these cases are settled with conditions designed to keep a level playing field for rivals. On Monday, the Justice Department shook observers by filing a lawsuit seeking to block the deal. AT&T shares slipped 0.7 percent to $34.