AT&T is definitely having a good week. Yesterday a federal judge ruled in the company's favor and swept away the federal government's objections to the company's purchase of Time Warner.
I have to admit, I didn't actually expect that AT&T's lawsuit to succeed. And this wasn't one of those narrow victories turning on a single, highly technical point of law, the judge came down entirely on their side. The idea that competition in the market would be damaged was rejected, and no conditions were attached, no divestments ordered. Nope, not even CNN.
That means that the door is now wide open to other media mergers rumored to be waiting in the wings. The first one may be see Comcast bidding for 21st Century Fox, a possibility that is said to be imminent. While other barriers may yet arise, at the moment the light is definitely green.
AT&T hopes to now close the deal quickly, perhaps in a week. However, the government may still find a judge somewhere to stay the ruling pending appeal, even though the judge's ruling was worded to make that harder than usual.
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