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US Justice Department: AT&T Should Sell CNN to Approve Time Warner Purchase

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The US Department of Justice has informed AT&T that it should sell CNN before the department can approve AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The Justice Department told AT&T that it should sell Time Warner’s cable news channel CNN if it hopes to complete the $84.5 billion purchase of Time Warner, the Financial Times has reported.

AT&T is opposed to selling the news network and is preparing to take the Trump administration to court, saying the deal with Time Warner does not pose any competition violations, the report said.

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The surfacing of the CNN issue has caused AT&T's Chief Financial Officer John Stephens to cast doubt on the purchase being completed by the end of 2017, the report also said.

Prior to taking a position, Justice Department antitrust division head Makan Delrahim said the AT&T-Time Warner deal would not be a significant antitrust issue. However, Delrahim said he later changed his mind, the report added.

Shares in Time Warner have dropped just over 6 percent in trading, according to the New York Stock Exchange.

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