AT&T’s courtroom conundrum: How to avoid paying an extra $500 million to Time Warner

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On March 19, AT&T and the Justice Department are expected to head to court to decide the future of Time Warner in what could be a historic legal showdown over a massive $85 billion merger. The timing of the trial could put AT&T in an uncomfortable position as it seeks to buy up one of the world's most valuable media and entertainment conglomerates, known for popular TV channels such as CNN and hit film franchises like the “Harry Potter” series. AT&T has been racing to get its deal with Time Warner closed by April 22, which would allow it to avoid having to pay Time Warner $500 million in recognition of its “time and expenses” spent on the process. The trial date will likely be too close to the two companies' deadline — raising the stakes for AT&T and increasing the likelihood it will have to pay Time Warner the fee.


AT&T’s courtroom conundrum: How to avoid paying an extra $500 million to Time Warner