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>> The US Department of Justice urged a federal judge on Thursday to block AT&T's proposed $85 billion merger with Time Warner. Government lawyers said, the deal would hand the company a quote, weapon to harm competition and raise consumer prices. During opening statements in one of the most closely watched US antitrust trials in years, the DOJ said, the deal would hike prices for consumers by more than $400 million annually.
That's an average of about $0.45 per month for pay TV subscribers. In his opening statement, AT&T lawyer Daniel Petrocelli argue the deal would actually lower costs and suggested the administration was quote, fundamentally stuck in the past. He said, the government's arguments were quote, divorced from reality. AT&T contends its merger with Time Warner is about try to compete with tech businesses like Alphabet and Amazon, and others that are changing how people watch television.
>> AT&T is buying Time Warner and thus, CNN. A deal we will not approve in my administration.>> As a candidate, Donald Trump publicly criticized the deal. And often rails against CNN, a Time Warner property. AT&T's lawyer had asked for access to communications between the White House and the DOJ about the deal, but the judge denied the request.
And Trump's opposition to the merger did not come up during opening statements even though AT&T lawyer's previously said that Time Warner deal may have been singled out.