"Sell CNN" says US Dept. of Justice

Reuters

The only point of such a demand would seemingly be to punish CNN in a way that reduces its worth (assets have less value when every potential buyer knows you have no choice but to sell) and intimidates other media companies by letting them know that outlets that report aggressively on the Trump administration are going to create business headaches for their owners.

AT&T Inc. won't sell CNN and never proposed such a deal, Chief Executive Officer Randall Stephenson said as a battle escalated with antitrust officials over the $85.4 billion acquisition of the network's owner, Time Warner Inc. Stephenson may have had in mind a tweet from Brian Stelter, a media reporter at CNN, asserting that Justice has said AT&T had privately offered to sell CNN.

The Justice Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the matter.

As an alternative to selling CNN, AT&T has been told it could sell DirectTV, according to sources who spoke to CNBC's Andrew Ross Sorkin.

AT&T is ramping up preparations to fight the Justice Department in court if it comes to that, instructing its legal team to prepare for battle, some of the people said. AT&T had previously said the acquisition would close by the end of this year.

Trump has repeatedly tangled with CNN, calling the network's coverage "fake news".

A Justice Department spokesman also told Anadolu Agency the department "is committed to carrying out its duties in accordance with the laws and the facts".

But according to the FT, Delrahim had "changed his view since taking office" regarding the antitrust problems posed.

The other option would be for AT&T to sell its DirectTV division, the source said.

Jail Sentence: JAY-Z, Kevin Hart, show support to Meek Mill
The judge also cited the rapper's repeated scheduling of concerts in areas where she had barred him from performing. But probation violations resulted in five more months in prison in 2013 and an extension of his probation.

Time Warner shares dropped 6.5 percent to $$88.50 Wednesday.

The following are the top stories in the Financial Times.

On Sunday, Kellyanne Conway said that the Trump administration is not interfering with the Justice Department's review of the deal.

AT&T's response to all of those demands would likely be to file a lawsuit against the government, many reports have indicated.

The deal is opposed by an array of consumer groups and smaller television networks on the grounds that it would give AT&T too much power over the content it would distribute to its wireless customers.

AT&T announced plans past year to purchase Time Warner to create a juggernaut with more than 142 million mobile subscribers and a major player in pay TV broadcasting via DirecTV.

From the campaign trail, Trump criticized the deal, saying that he would reject it because it concentrated media power.

"We are in active discussions with the DOJ [Department of Justice]", Stephens said.

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