Rupert Murdoch twice discussed CNN with AT&T CEO

AT&T may have to dump CNN to get Time Warner deal approved

A DOJ source quoted by Politico later claimed that AT&T and Time Warner itself had offered to shed CNN to diminish antitrust concerns about the merger.

CNN has become a focal point in gaining competition approval for telecoms giant AT&T's $85.4bn (£64.7bn) bid to buy rival media giant Time Warner, which was announced last October.

"We're prepared to litigate now", Stephenson said at a conference this week hosted by the New York Times. "I do feel you should have as many news outlets as you can-especially since so many are fake".

The official the president referred to was DOJ anti-trust chief Makan Delrahim, a Trump appointee who has threatened to block the deal in court unless AT&T sells off either Turner Broadcasting or its DirecTV service-the latter option impossible as it would undermine the entire basis of the merger.

Who Is Ashanti Billie? Navy Veteran Charged With Teen's Kidnapping
Her Mini Cooper was found near Ocean View in Norfolk, and her cell phone was discovered in a dumpster on Tallyho Terrace. The FBI and Blimpie offered $20,000 reward at the time for information in that would lead to finding Billie.

Shares of Time Warner were down almost 1 percent in afternoon trading at $87.85. "We'll see how it all plays out", Trump said aboard Air Force One, according to the White House's official transcript of the exchange. AT&T stock closed up 1.1 percent at $33.44. 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.

AT&T has argued against selling off either company's assets, as it believes this would undercut the rationale for the tie-up. It would then supply its video - HBO, CNN, TBS and the Warner Bros. movie studio - while providing access to the internet for millions of Americans. Several Democratic lawmakers have also pushed back against the combination.

AT&T has long noted that "vertical mergers" - when one company buys another that isn't a direct competitor - are typically approved. The Department of Justice said it does not comment on pending investigations, but that it was "committed to carrying out its duties in accordance with the laws and the facts".

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