AT&T-Time Warner Merger Still Uncertain Despite No FCC Review

An AT&T store is seen on 5th Avenue in New York on October 23, 2016. AT&T unveiled a mega-deal for Time Warner that would transform the telecom giant into a media-entertainment powerhouse positioned for a sector facing major technology changes. The stock-and-cash deal is valued at $108.7 billion including debt, …

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai told the Wall Street Journal that the agency would not review the AT&T-Time Warner merger.

The $85 billion merger’s path still remains uncertain.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the Trump White House will have to approve the merger. Peter Navarro, economic adviser to President Trump, has previously said, “Donald Trump would never approve such a deal because it concentrates too much power in the hands of the too and powerful few.”

Fox Business’ Charlie Gasparino reports that Time Warner might need to spin off CNN as a separate entity to make the deal work. Analysis from Bloomberg Intelligence says spinning off CNN may be worth $6.5 billion.

Trump admitted that he has not seen all the facts yet, but will keep his options open.

“I have been on the record in the past of saying it’s too big and we have to keep competition,” he notes. “So, but other than that, I haven’t, you know, I haven’t seen any of the facts, yet. I’m sure that will be presented to me and to the people within government.”

Breitbart News’ Matthew Boyle asked President Trump about whether he has any reservations about approving a merger that puts more power in the hands of the few.

President Trump told Breitbart News, “I do not want to comment on any specific deal, but I do believe there has to be competition in the marketplace and maybe even more so with the media because it would be awfully bad after years if we ended up having one voice out there. You have to have competition in the marketplace, and you have to have competition among the media. And I’m not commenting on any one deal, but you need competition generally and you certainly need it with media.”