Telecom (telecommunications) behemoth AT&T’s (T) proposed merger deal with media giant Time Warner (TWX) is facing yet another hurdle from the US Department of Justice, which is blocking the deal. Recently, US district judge Richard Leon from the Justice Department announced that the process would take double the time that was initially anticipated.
The trials, which started on March 19, 2018, will continue for as long as eight weeks, which means that the date of the deal’s closing will remain the same. As per their last filing, the companies announced that the merger would close by June 21, 2018.
Why was the deal blocked?
The $85.4 billion AT&T acquisition deal, which was announced in October 2016, hasn’t received approval from the Justice Department. As a result, the companies are postponing their merger deadlines.
Before they chose June 21, the companies had scheduled the merger to close on April 22, 2018, and before that, they’d scheduled it to close on October 22, 2017. The merger could bring together the biggest US telecom company with the content king—owner of Turner Broadcasting, CNN, and HBO.
Of late, US regulators have become stringent about approving mergers. Reportedly, Rupert Murdoch, the owner of 21st Century Fox (FOXA), decided to ink a deal with the Walt Disney Company (DIS) to sell certain assets to avoid regulatory issues. However, the Fox-Disney deal has seen a twist on the surprise entry of Comcast (CMCSA) and its bid for Fox’s asset Sky.