AT&T, Time Warner Herald ‘Golden Age’ of TV in Defense of Merger

AT&T and Time Warner said an explosion of online programming has spawned a “golden age for television—and for consumers,” in its first court filing countering government claims that their planned merger would stymie competition and hurt customers. AT&T, in a formal written answer to the lawsuit, said the video marketplace is changing quickly and is “intensely competitive,” and that nothing about the Time Warner deal would harm that. AT&T said online rivals like Netflix and Amazon were spending billions of dollars on developing and streaming video content, and that leading tech companies like Apple, Google and Facebook were doing the same. The companies said there was nothing anticompetitive about combining Time Warner’s content—like HBO and the Turner networks—with AT&T’s distribution of video through its satellite, broadband and wireless networks. They said merging the two would bring benefits to the public. If allowed by the Justice Department to proceed with its acquisition of Time Warner, AT&T said it would submit to baseball-style arbitration to settle complaints that it is gouging other pay-TV providers on rates for Turner programming. 

AT&T, Time Warner Herald ‘Golden Age’ of TV in Defense of Merger AT&T responds to Justice Department lawsuit (Washington Post) AT&T Offers Alternative to Breakup Demand (TVNewsCheck)