(BLOOMBERG) — The U.S. Justice Department sued to block AT&T Inc.’s $85.4 billion takeover of Time Warner Inc., delivering a major blow to the carrier’s bid to create a media and telecommunications empire.
“This merger would greatly harm American consumers. It would mean higher monthly television bills and fewer of the new, emerging innovative options that consumers are beginning to enjoy,” said Makan Delrahim, the head of the department’s antitrust division.
The lawsuit takes the storm of controversy surrounding the deal to a new level -- a courtroom -- where the Justice Department will make its case for why the combination harms competition and ask a judge to block the tie-up. It marks the first time in several decades that the Justice Department has challenged a deal between two companies that aren’t direct competitors, also known as a vertical deal.
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