Rupert Murdoch twice discussed CNN with AT&T CEO

Nov 12, 2017, 01:56
Rupert Murdoch twice discussed CNN with AT&T CEO

"I didn't make that decision", Trump told reporters, The Washington Post reported.

President Donald Trump appeared to stress on Saturday that he had not intervened in AT&T's bid to buy Time Warner - or sought to require that the companies sell CNN in order to obtain the US government's approval of the deal.

Justice Department staff recommended that AT&T sell either its DirecTV unit or Time Warner's Turner Broadcasting unit, which includes news company CNN, a government official told Reuters on Thursday, on the grounds that a combined company would raise costs for rival entertainment distributors and stifle innovation.

AT&T may be forced to dump CNN for the U.S. regulators to allow its proposed takeover of Time Warner to go through.

AT&T is preparing for a court battle if the Justice Department tries to prevent the $85.4 billion deal.

"I do feel you should have as many news outlets as you can - especially since so many are fake", Trump continued, according to a pool report.

Stephenson twice said the cable channel was not on the table.

AT&T has argued against selling off either company's assets, as it believes this would undercut the rationale for the tie-up. The move is likely to draw criticism and could be seen as political payback, since US President Donald Trump has repeatedly criticized CNN for its coverage of him, calling it "fake news".

Also, as Recode noted, in his comments on Saturday Trump also referred to his opposition to the merger on the campaign trail: "I did make a comment as to what I think".

Delrahim said he had not had any contact with the White House or the attorney general on the matter, speaking at an event at the USC Gould School of Law in Los Angeles later in the day. But AT&T has said it doesn't want to lose the all-news network in the deal.

The head of the DOJ's antitrust division denied that the White House is involved in the transaction.