The Justice Department filed notice on Thursday of the appeal weeks after a federal judge ruled in favor of AT&T and Time Warner’s $85.4 billion merger. The Justice Department at the time argued that such a deal would stifle competition, but Stephenson remains confident his company was well within its rights.
“At the end of the day the law was on our side. We feel good about where we are and we think the appeal court will look at the merits of the law,” he said Friday during an appearance on CNBC.
“This changes nothing we’ll be doing over the next 30 days or the next 12 months,” Stephenson added. “We’re about executing our plan. We think the likelihood of this thing being reversed and overturned is really remote. It’s a very narrow path that would have to be traveled to get this thing reversed in any way. The merger is closed. We own Time Warner.”
The deal was first announced in October 2016 and was opposed by President Donald Trump, prompting the Justice Department to sue AT&T on antitrust grounds.
U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon ultimately ruled that the government did not adequately demonstrate how AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner would harm competition.