By Alan Murray and David Meyer
July 13, 2018

Good morning.

I’ve never been a huge fan of the AT&T-Time Warner deal. The potential synergies that could come from merging a mobile phone company and a content provider are intriguing. But the track record of giant companies successfully achieving such synergies is dismal. AT&T’s Randall Stephenson is an impressive CEO, but has his work cut out for him.

Having said that, the Justice Department’s decision to appeal its lost case against the merger feels like a waste of government time and money. By all accounts, the government got a fair and thoughtful hearing from Judge Richard Leon. And it lost, conclusively. As Judge Leon himself put it: “It has been a herculean task for all the parties and the Court. Each side has had its proverbial day in Court. The Court has now spoken and the defendants have won.” Not sure what public interest is served by refighting the battle on appeal.

If the Justice Department is interested in advancing case law on vertical mergers, it might better use its resources looking at the more pressing problem of how to regulate the tech giants in today’s winner-take-most economy. AT&T and Time Warner are yesterday’s story.

More news below.

Alan Murray


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