The DC Circuit has rejected the Justice Department’s attempt to roll back AT&T’s $81 billion 2018 acquisition of Time Warner. It’s the second time a federal court has declined to stop the merger.
“The government’s objections that the district court misunderstood and misapplied economic principles and clearly erred in rejecting the quantitative model are unpersuasive,” the opinion released Tuesday said. Judge Judith Rogers wrote the opinion for the three-judge panel.
Oral arguments were held in December, with court watchers predicting that AT&T would prevail. During arguments, the panel seemed skeptical of the claim that the government met its burden of proof by demonstrating that the economic harm from the deal was “not zero” through the Nash model. AT&T has continued full-speed ahead with its integration, saying all along it expected to be victorious at the court.
“The merger of these innovative companies has already yielded significant consumer benefits, and it will continue to do so for years to come. While we respect the important role that the U.S. Department of Justice plays in the merger review process, we trust that today’s unanimous decision from the D.C. Circuit will end this litigation,” AT&T said Tuesday.