Rupert Murdoch contacted AT&T CEO twice about buying CNN

12 November, 2017, 02:36 | Author: Salvatore Jensen
  • Manhattan’s East Village. Credit Christian Hansen for The New York Times

Representatives of Twenty-First Century Fox, AT&T and Time Warner, CNN's parent, declined comment.

However, according to the United States news site Wired, it's not clear whether the DoJ could successfully block the merger.

Kushner told Time Warner executive Gary Ginsberg that CNN should fire the employees because they were so wrong in their analysis of how the election would turn out, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday, citing people familiar with the matter.

President Donald Trump appeared to stress on Saturday that he had not intervened in AT&T's bid to buy Time Warner - or sought to require that the companies sell CNN in order to obtain the USA government's approval of the deal. Obama-era regulators in 2011 approved a similar media merger, cable company Comcast's purchase of NBCUniversal, after Comcast agreed to a slew of business requirements. AT&T's chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson said in a statement Wednesday that he wanted to "set the record straight". The Justice official said no decision on the deal has been reached yet and that conversations continue. Other outlets reported that the Trump administration had demanded the sale.

The White House has said that Trump "did not speak with the attorney general about this matter" and that "no White House official was authorized to speak with the Department of Justice on this matter". But many, including AT&T executives, expected the acquisition to be finalized by the end of the year, and the DOJ's pushback has all but ensured that won't be the case. Buying Time Warner would give AT&T more video through HBO, CNN, TBS, TNT and other cable networks and the Warner Bros. movie studio. "It's hard to imagine an antitrust argument that will be compelling" from the government, he said.

The DoJ has said it does not comment on ongoing investigations.

But as a candidate, President Trump publicly vowed to block the transaction.

The DOJ should forget about CNN and reject the merger to prevent further consolidation of media power.

On last Sunday's "Reliable Sources" on CNN, when asked whether Trump has had any involvement, counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway said "we're not going to interfere with that here".

Trump was quoted criticizing the DOJ several times last week.



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