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."

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 31,778,331 — Total deaths: 974,436 — Total recoveries: 21,876,025Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 6,943,078 — Total deaths: 201,930 — Total recoveries: 2,670,256 — Total tests: 97,459,742Map.
  3. Health: CDC director says over 90% of Americans have not yet been exposed to coronavirus — Supply shortages continue to plague testing.
  4. Politics: Missouri Gov. Mike Parson tests positive for coronavirus — Poll says 51% of Republicans trust Trump on coronavirus more than the CDC.
  5. Technology: The tech solutions of 2020 may be sapping our resolve to beat the coronavirus
  6. Vaccines: Johnson & Johnson begins large phase 3 trial — The FDA plans to toughen standards.
  7. Sports: Less travel is causing the NBA to see better basketball.
  8. Future: America's halfway coronavirus response

Biden: Breonna Taylor indictment "does not answer" call for justice

Former Vice President Joe Biden. Photo: Leigh Vogel/Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday condemned the grand jury indictment of a Louisville police officer who entered Breonna Taylor's home in March in a botched drug raid that led to her death, saying in a statement the decision "does not answer" for equal justice.

The big picture: Biden called for reforms to address police use of force and no-knock warrants, while demanding a ban on chokeholds. He added that people "have a right to peacefully protest, but violence is never acceptable."

Trump refuses to commit to peaceful transfer of power if he loses

President Trump repeatedly refused to say on Wednesday whether he would commit to a peaceful transition of power if he loses the election to Joe Biden, saying at a press briefing: "We're going to have to see what happens."

The big picture: Trump has baselessly claimed on a number of occasions that the only way he will lose the election is if it's "rigged," claiming — without evidence — that mail-in ballots will result in widespread fraud. Earlier on Wednesday, the president said he wants to quickly confirm a replacement for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg because he believes the Supreme Court may have to decide the result of the election.

Get Axios AM in your inbox

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

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!