AT&T-Warner not over yet
The Justice Department reported on Thursday that it will appeal AT&T’s acquisition of Warner, which Judge Richard Leon approved last month.
Judge Leon ruled that the merger did not break any antitrust laws, and if it did, the government failed to show that. When the Justice Department first opened the case last year, they argued that it would cause prices for consumers as well as reducing competition and growth among other companies.
Leon even wrote in his filing that the government would have a hard time appealing this decision, as the deal was already approved. He argued that if the government were to issue a “stay,” in which the merger would pause until an appeals court could review the case, it could kill the acquisition and would be very unjust.
But the Justice Department is doing just that – the case will go to the D.C. Court of Appeals, where they will review the case yet again. In essence, this could go through the Supreme Court, which would be the most massive Supreme Court merger review since the 1970s.
AT&T General Counsel David McAtee had this to say about the Department Justice appeal decision:
The Court’s decision could hardly have been more thorough, fact-based, and well-reasoned. While the losing party in litigation always has the right to appeal if it wishes, we are surprised that the DOJ has chosen to do so under these circumstances. We are ready to defend the Court’s decision at the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.
In other words, the Justice Department will have to move mountains if it hopes to overturn this decision.
Featured image via Flickr/Tools of Men