U.S. urges judge to reject AT&T/Time Warner court date proposal

Mergers and Acquisitions Reuters

An AT&T logo is seen at an AT&T store in New York City, October 23, 2016. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith (Copyright Reuters 2016)

The U.S. government on Tuesday urged a federal judge to reject the February court date sought by AT&T and Time Warner in a dispute over the firms' proposed merger, arguing the companies are rushing to meet an April 22 closing deadline for their $85.4 billion deal.

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The U.S. Justice Department last month sued to block AT&T's planned acquisition of Time Warner, saying the combination could raise prices for rivals and pay-TV subscribers while hampering the development of online video.

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson had called the companies' requested court date of Feb. 20 a "reasonable ask." The government had requested that proceedings start on May 7.

AT&T will have to pay Time Warner $500 million if the merger is not consummated by April 22.

 

(Reporting by Eric Beech; Editing by Tim Ahmann and Christopher Cushing)