Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Photo: Richard Levine/Corbis via Getty Images

The court battle over AT&T’s $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner got off to a contentious start Monday as lawyers fought over what evidence they could bring into court.

Why it matters: Key themes are already emerging after the first day of AT&T's trial fight against DoJ. For starters, Judge Richard Leon wants to hear from AT&T's competitors, and the government wants to show the hypocrisy of the telecom giant's arguments.

What they’re saying: Justice Department attorney Eric Welsh argued against an attempt by AT&T to keep out of the trial earlier statements from subsidiary DirecTV opposing the Comcast-NBCU merger going through without conditions, arguing they were related to a different case.

  • This is key to the DoJ's case: It wants to show AT&T has opposed similarly structured deals that saw a telecom company buying a media firm.
  • Judge Richard J. Leon indicated he might be willing to treat it only as a statement from DirecTV, not AT&T. If AT&T is successful at getting DirecTV removed as a defendant in the case, it would be a blow to the government.
  • Welsh pushed back that the “same people” involved in earlier deals would be making decisions about the industry going forward. He said some of the other documents DoJ was trying to include had "many, many, many bad statements."

Leon expressed interest in another main thread of the case: whether a telecom provider like AT&T would be competing with Silicon Valley powerhouses like Google or Facebook. He indicated he wants to hear more from a Google employee who was deposed by the DoJ about the importance of Time Warner content to its YouTube TV streaming service.

The judge also made it clear he was worried about witnesses from AT&T's competitors being allowed to testify in secret and AT&T keeping certain documents confidential. He said weighing a "case of this magnitude" in closed court isn't consistent with the premise of a trial.

  • Some of AT&T's competitors sent lawyers to Monday’s hearing. One attempted to address Leon at the end of the day and was sharply rebuked. “Sir, when I talk, you stop,” Leon told the man, who said he represented a Sony subsidiary.

What’s next: There will be more evidentiary arguments on Tuesday. Opening arguments are scheduled for Wednesday and, according to AT&T lawyer Daniel Petrocelli, will be attended by the chief executives of both AT&T and Time Warner.

This story has been clarified to more precisely reflect DirecTV's position on the Comcast-NBCU merger.

Go deeper

Neera Tanden withdraws nomination for Office of Management and Budget director

Neera Tanden testifying before the Senate Budget Committee in Washington, D.C., in February 2021. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Neera Tanden withdrew her name from nomination to lead the Office of Management and Budget after several senators voiced opposition and concern about her qualifications and past combative tweets, President Biden announced Tuesday.

Why it matters: Tanden’s decision to pull her nomination marks Biden's first setback in filling out his Cabinet with a thin Democratic majority in the Senate.

What's ahead for the newest female CEOs

Jane Fraser (L) and Rosalind Brewer. Photos: Jason Redmond/AFP via Getty Images; Rodrigo Capote/Bloomberg via Getty Images.

The number of women at the helm of America’s biggest companies pales in comparison to men, but is newly growing — and their tasks are huge.

What's going on: Jane Fraser took over at Citigroup this week, the first woman to ever lead a major U.S. bank. Rosalind Brewer will take the reins at Walgreens in the coming weeks (March 15) — a company that's been run by white men for more than a century.

3 hours ago - Health

Biden says U.S. will have enough vaccines for 300 million adults by end of May

President Biden. Photo: Anna Moneymaker-Pool/Getty Images

President Biden on Tuesday said that ramped-up coronavirus vaccine production will provide enough doses for 300 million Americans by the end May.

Why it matters: That's two months sooner than Biden's previous promise of enough vaccines for all American adults by the end of July.