Bloomberg reports, citing anonymous sources, this afternoon that the Department of Justice is planning to sue AT&T as a way to halt its proposed takeover of Time Warner. The planned $85.4 billion merger has recently been called into question, following reports that the DOJ is pushing for AT&T to offload CNN. Now it seems the government may try to block the deal altogether. Bloomberg adds that the DOJ is going to make a “major antitrust announcement” this afternoon.
A source who confirms the DOJ’s move to Politico said that the government’s main sticking point is CNN, which has become perhaps the most prominent of the president’s media punching bags. Trump administration officials have said there has been no White House interference in the DOJ’s review of the mega-deal.
AT&T has confirmed the news, and denounced the DOJ’s decision. A spokesperson called it a “radical and inexplicable departure from decades of antitrust precedent.”
Full AT&T statement: pic.twitter.com/DEBYoUqYgs
— Peter Kafka (@pkafka) November 20, 2017
As the news broke, Time Warner stock began flailing.