AT&T Antitrust Fight Flips the Script in Washington

AT&T’s bid to buy Time Warner is blurring some of the ideological lines that usually split free-market conservatives from liberal skeptics of big business. On the left, some Democratic US senators who questioned the deal earlier have avoided addressing the issue since the Justice Department sued to stop the $85 billion combination. State attorneys general who joined a similar campaign against Comcast’s 2011 takeover of NBCUniversal have likewise sat out the latest government effort to thwart corporate concentration, at least for now. On the other side, the politically conservative head of the department’s antitrust division, Makan Delrahim, decided to move forward with the lawsuit. President Donald Trump has echoed the agency’s arguments and called the deal “not good for the country.” “Everybody in Washington is a bit tangled in knots around the politics of this deal,” said Gene Kimmelman, head of left-leaning consumer-advocacy group Public Knowledge, which co-signed a letter with Americans for Limited Government and other groups asking the Justice Department to block the deal.


AT&T Antitrust Fight Flips the Script in Washington