Nov 2, 2017

WSJ: Justice considers blocking AT&T-Time Warner deal

The top executives of Time Warner and AT&T. Photo: Evan Vucci / AP

The Wall Street Journal reports that the Department of Justice is considering filing a lawsuit to block AT&T's $85 billion proposed purchase of Time Warner. But the report also says that discussions continue that could lead to the deal going through. The White House's appointee to lead the agency's antitrust division, Makan Delrahim, has only been in the job for a little over a month.

Why it matters: While the WSJ reports that the deal could "go either way," the threat of litigation is notable because the deal was seen as safe despite Trump's criticism of the merger before he was elected.

The other side: "When the DOJ reviews any transaction, it is common and expected for both sides to prepare for all possible scenarios," emailed an AT&T spokesperson, adding that "we see no reason in the law or the facts why this transaction should be an exception."

Flashback: Donald Trump, October 22, 2016 in Gettysburg, PA: "As an example of the power structure I'm fighting, AT&T is buying Time Warner and thus CNN, a deal we will not approve in my administration because it's too much concentration of power in the hands of too few."

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Obama on George Floyd's death: "This shouldn't be 'normal'"

Photo: Getty Images/Getty Images for EIF & XQ

Former President Obama said in a statement Friday that the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who was killed by a white Minneapolis police officer, "shouldn't be 'normal' in 2020 America."

What he's saying: "[W]e have to remember that for millions of Americans being treated differently on account of race is tragically, painfully, maddeningly 'normal' — whether it’s while dealing with the health care system, or interacting with the criminal justice system, or jogging down the street, or watching birds in a park."

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Trump's big, empty beef with Twitter

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump finally acted on his now year-old threat to take action against social media platforms for alleged bias against conservatives. But so far, according to experts in both government and the industry, the threat looks mostly empty.

Driving the news: Trump escalated his war on Twitter Friday morning, tweeting repeatedly that the company needs to be regulated after it overnight added a warning label to a tweet of his calling for the military to start shooting looters, which violated Twitter’s rules against glorifying violence.