US begins biggest antitrust court clash in decades

(VOVWORLD) - The US government filed a suit on Tuesday to block AT&T's merger with Time Warner, setting up the biggest antitrust court clash in decades over the 85 billion USD tie-up.

The Justice Department believes that the merger would greatly harm American consumers. It would mean higher monthly television bills and fewer, emerging innovative options that consumers are beginning to enjoy, said Makan Delrahim, head of the Justice Department's antitrust division. Delrahim said AT&T with its DirecTV satellite operations and Time Warner's content would have the incentive and ability to charge more for Time Warner's popular networks and take other actions to discourage future competitors from entering the marketplace altogether. AT&T said it plans to challenge the government's lawsuit, arguing that it was seeking a "vertical" merger without competitive overlap which should be approved based on legal precedent.

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