AT&T happy with ruling, government weighs appeal

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WASHINGTON (AP) — AT&T says it will complete its purchase of Time Warner by June 20 now that a federal judge has cleared the deal.

AT&T general counsel David McAtee says the company is “pleased” with the verdict after a “full and fair trial on merits.”

Government lawyer Makan Delrahim says the Department of Justice is “disappointed” with the decision.

In a statement, he warns that the pay-TV industry will be “less competitive and less innovative” as a result of merger.

The government could appeal. Delrahim says officials will review the decision and “consider next steps in light of our commitment to preserving competition for the benefit of American consumers.”

In Tuesday’s ruling, U.S. District Judge Richard Leon rejected the government’s argument that the AT&T-Time Warner combination would hurt competition in pay TV and cost consumers hundreds of millions of dollars more to stream TV and movies.

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