The Justice Department has expressed its intention to appeal a recent court ruling that has technically allow ATT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner and CNN.
Their decision came as a result of a judge’s ruling last month that the US government had failed to convince the court that the AT&T acquisition deal violates antitrust law.
Judge Richard Leon who presided over the matter stated in his ruling that “The Government has failed to meet its burden of proof to show that the merger is likely to result in a substantial lessening of competition,”.
The Government had argued that if AT&T should be allowed to own HBO, CNN and Warner Bros. Among others, it would harm consumers by causing an uncontrolled increase in prices and by extension, hurt innovation and competition.
But Justice Leon completely disagrees with the Government’s argument.
Since the ruling, AT&T has re-named the acquired division as WarnerMedia, and is operating it as a separate unit from the rest of the company, just in case of a US Government appeal goes against the current ruling.
If the current ruling is allowed without a fight back, authorities and regulators are worried that other companies would now be more emboldened to pursue similar mergers.
The case is now expected to go to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, where a three-judge panel will hear the Government’s planned appeal.