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AT&T CEO sticks to his guns on Time Warner deal

Wednesday, November 29, 2017 - 01:56

AT&T remains determined to pursue its case against the government to push through its purchase of Time Warner, says chief executive Randall Stephenson. Fred Katayama reports.

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AT&T remains determined to pursue its case against the government and push through its acquisition of Time Warner. That's what AT&T chief executive Randall Stephenson said at the Economic Club of New York on Wednesday. (SOUNDBITE) RANDALL STEPHENSON, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, AT&T (ENGLISH) SAYING: "We see absolutely nothing in this case that is anti-competitive, lawfully anti-competitive. And so, as a result, looking at the facts of the case, we feel like we have a darn good case, and we feel like this is one worth taking and pursuing into the courts." In a joint court filing on Tuesday, AT&T and Time Warner said their proposed $85 billion merger was "pro-competitive" and "pro-consumer." The companies also rebutted the government efforts to show that AT&T would raise rates for rival pay-TV companies to use Time Warner's content. Last week, the Justice Department sued to block AT&T's $85 billion purchase of Time Warner. A&G Capital chief investment officer Hilary Kramer: SOUNDBITE: HILARY KRAMER, CHIEF INVESTMENT OFFICER, A&G CAPITAL, (ENGLISH) SAYING: "AT&T may not actually be able to acquire Time Warner the way it wants to, and they want the content of CNN. Time Warner, it's not really about the studio, it's about this content that they can provide. AT&T, the big picture, is a one trick pony right now, and it's about wireless, wireless, telecom, and they need to diversify out of that. it's becoming commoditized. They know it, and everyone is investing in AT&T for one reason only, and that's the dividend yield. And once rates rise, investors will stop investing in AT&T, they won't have the currency to make an acquisition like this. This is very important. And as we know sometimes when we're really desperate, that's when we make missteps. So, look for this deal to fall apart." AT&T said it's prepared to go to trial as soon as possible. But the government requested a date in May. The termination date for the deal is at the end of April.

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AT&T CEO sticks to his guns on Time Warner deal

Wednesday, November 29, 2017 - 01:56