WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) - A federal judge has approved the $85 billion mega-merger of AT&T and Time Warner, potentially ushering in a wave of media consolidation while shaping how much consumers pay for streaming TV and movies.
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U.S. District Judge Richard Leon green-lit the merger without imposing major conditions as some experts had expected. The Trump Justice Department had sued to block the $85 billion merger, arguing it would hurt competition in cable and satellite TV and jack up costs to consumers for streaming TV and movies.
Now, the phone and pay-TV giant AT&T will be allowed to absorb the owner of CNN, HBO, the Warner Bros. movie studio, "Game of Thrones," coveted sports programming and other "must-see" shows.
The Justice Department could appeal the ruling, although it said only that it is considering its options.