Time Warner owns HBO, CNN, TBS and other networks, as well as the Warner Bros. movie studio. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
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Seeing an attempt to block its buyout out of Time Warner as a "radical" departure by the U.S. government, AT&T is preparing for a fight to see the $85 billion deal through.The DOJ said AT&T would be able to charge rival distributors such as cable companies "hundreds of millions of dollars more per year" for Time Warner's programming – payments that would ultimately get passed down to consumers through their cable bills.AT&T and Time Warner are not direct competitors, and "vertical" mergers between such companies have typically had an easier time winning government approval than deals that combine two rivals.As a candidate, however, Trump vowed to block the pending AT&T-Time Warner deal because it would concentrate too much "power in the hands of too few".AT&T has argued that buying Time Warner would let it package and deliver video more cheaply, over the internet, rather than in expensive cable bundles.The DOJ official said Monday that the AT&T merger was more harmful to consumers than the Comcast-NBCU deal in part because DirecTV has customers across the country.
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