A U.S. court under Judge Richard Leon ruled late Tuesday, that AT&T could buy Time Warner Inc for $85 billion, without conditions, according to Reuters. The ruling opens the door for AT&T to compete with internet companies and grab the bottomless revenue stream associated with digital advertising, while providing new sources of revenue as carriers search for new income outlets in a stagnating market.
The deal also opens the way for additional mergers, such as Comcast Corp’s bid for some of Twenty-First Century Fox’s assets.
“I conclude that the government has failed to meet its burden of proof,” Judge Leon told the court. He called one of the government’s arguments against the deal “gossamer thin” and said any attempt to obtain a stay of his ruling would not only be unsuccessful but “manifestly unjust.”
Reuters said shares of AT&T were about flat in after-hours trade following the decision, while Time Warner rose more than five percent. Afterwards, AT&T praised the decision and said it hopes to close the deal by June 20.
By Jim Fryer, Managing Editor, Inside Towers
June 12, 2018