The Justice Department will let the AT&T–Time Warner merger close

The Justice Department will let the AT&T–Time Warner merger close

The Justice Department announced today that it will not seek a legal stay of the AT&T–Time Warner merger ruling, clearing the way for the completion of the giant deal.

Earlier this week, when a judge ruled that he would allow the deal to go through despite the Justice Department’s lawsuit, it was a sharp rebuke to antitrust enforcers. In the decision, which was overwhelmingly in favor of the merger, the judge seemed to suggest an appeal would be futile, and that if the department filed for a temporary legal stay of the ruling, it could unfairly scuttle the deal, which has a deadline to close later this month. A stay that blocked the deal would be “unjust,” the judge wrote.

A Justice Department spokesperson said the agency could still appeal the judge’s ruling, but meanwhile, the deal is set to go through. In a filing, AT&T’s general counsel writes that the merger could now be completed as soon as “later this week.”

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