Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump said he wouldn't approve a proposed merger between AT&T Inc. and Time Warner Inc., citing his opposition of further consolidation in the media industry.
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"AT&T is buying Time Warner, and thus CNN, a deal we will not approve in my administration because it's too much concentration of power in the hands of too few," he said at a rally in Gettysburg, Pa., on Saturday. Mr. Trump said the deal is "an example of the power structure I am fighting."
AT&T, the country's second largest wireless company, reached a deal this weekend to acquire Time Warner, one of the largest content companies in the U.S. with networks like CNN and HBO, according to people familiar with the transaction. AT&T also owns DirecTV, one of the largest pay-television firms.
Mr. Trump also said he never would have approved Comcast Corp.'s 2011 acquisition of NBCUniversal, which similarly combined content and distribution companies.
Comcast's "purchase of NBC concentrates far too much power in one massive entity that is trying to tell the voters what to think and what to do," he said. "Deals like this destroy democracy. And we'll look at breaking that deal up and other deals like that. This should never ever have been approved in the first place."
While Mr. Trump couldn't block the deal himself, AT&T's Time Warner acquisition would likely face review from federal authorities under the next presidential administration.
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has also taken a tough stance on consolidation. While she hasn't publicly commented on the AT&T deal, she wrote in an op-ed last year that she would "prevent concentration in the first place by beefing up the antitrust enforcement arms of the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission."
By Ryan Knutson