AT&T-Time Warner Merger Approved By Federal Judge

AT&T Time WarnerThe Hollywood Reporter notes that U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon has approved the merger between AT&T and Time Warner over the government’s challenge.

In November, the U.S. Justice Department filed a lawsuit to block the $80 billion merger between AT&T and Time Warner. With Judge Richard Leon having now issued his landmark decision, the case has set a new legal precedence and will act as a “guiding post” for corporate executives eyeing other potential big mergers.

THR writes of the government’s argument in the case:

The government argued that the AT&T/TW merger would mean that consumers would have to pay hundreds of millions of dollars more for popular programming such as the March Madness college basketball tournament. Because AT&T also owns satellite TV giant DirecTV, the Justice Department trial team led by Craig Conrath outlined concerns that once under AT&T’s thumb, TW would be more willing to hold back content in licensing negotiations with cable and satellite rivals. The government also suggested that AT&T would use its new assets to hinder the growth of virtual MPVDs, meaning those digitally distributed live programming “skinny bundles.”

THR also wrote of AT&T and Time Warner’s own argument:

AT&T and Time Warner, represented by a legal team led by attorney Daniel Petrocelli, argued that the government’s case was flawed, and that if there was any concern about extortionate licensing demands and the possiblity of channel blackouts, it was resolved by an offer to go to arbitration with third-party distributors who couldn’t come to terms over Turner programming. The defendants also put TW CEO Jeffrey Bewkes and AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson on the witness stand to defend the merger as a necessary bulwark in the face of aggressive advertising competition from digital giants including Amazon, Google and Facebook and content competition from the likes of Netflix and YouTube.

While AT&T and Time Warner set a June 21 deadline to complete the merger, Judge Leon’s decision could be taken to the DC Court of Appeals for further review.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

10 DC Comics Characters That Need To Be In Matt Reeves’ Batman Movie

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Ben Affleck Batman DC Comics Characters As one of the DC’s most popular heroes, Batman has starred in quite a few films. After Christopher Nolan wrapped up his Dark Knight trilogy, the character was quickly reintroduced in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and was a key player in Justice League. The Caped Crusader is set to return in his own movie, potentially titled The Batman, with Matt Reeves, the director of Cloverfield and the last two Planet of the Apes movies, behind the camera.

At the moment, nothing is known about the film’s plot or who will appear, but with Batman in the title role odds are other key DC characters will appear. So far, Batman’s corner of the DC Universe hasn’t been explored too much, so there are still a lot of characters who can be introduced on the big screen. Batman’s gonna need some villains to fight, and allies to fight beside, so Matt Reeves needs to search through the back-issues and figure out who he wants to include.

Hit Next to discover which DC Characters should appear in Matt Reeves’ Batman movie!

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Sebastian Peris

Sebastian Peris

Canadian film lover, comic book geek, political junkie and board game enthusiast.