Rupert Murdoch contacted AT&T CEO twice about buying CNN

Government's holdup of AT&T's acquisition of Time Warner worries some

Stephenson replied both times that it was not, according to the source. And likewise I have never offered to sell CNN.

Other sources say the DOJ indicated that a divestiture of CNN would not be sufficient to make sure the deal doesn't hurt consumers. AT&T already discounts its streaming service, DirecTV Now, and even HBO, which it doesn't own yet, as an incentive to get people to sign up for its unlimited phone data plans.

AT&T bought satellite TV company DirecTV in 2015.

There are many fine reasons for the Department of Justice to act against the impending $85 billion merger of AT&T and Time Warner. "Inside Time Warner, it wasn't taken lightly".

As for DirecTV, "it's a false choice", one of the sources said, portraying the talks as created to disguise an attempt to punish CNN.

"I didn't make that decision", Trump told reporters.

Numerous details of the negotiations are in dispute. It has been waiting for the Justice Department's blessing. Last year, it accounted for almost half of Time Warner's revenue and about 58 percent of its operating profit. The White House has said Trump has not spoken to the attorney general about the matter.

A DOJ spokesperson earlier issued a statement disputing any notion of interference.

In an emailed statement, the Justice Department said that it "is committed to carrying out its duties in accordance with the laws and the facts".

The DoJ has said it does not comment on ongoing investigations.

Centre slashes GST on 178 mass use items
He also said the Council had been looking at the 28 percent tax slab and constantly rationalising items in it in lesser tax slabs. The GST Council is also expected to offer more relief to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in terms of compliance burden.

The two sides are still in talks on approving the deal, which was announced in October 2016, but have disagreed on whether asset sales are necessary to gain approval. He said during the campaign that he would block the merger, citing the concentration of media. He has not commented on the transaction since taking office in January.

AT&T had previously targeted the end of the year for closing the deal, and Wall Street analysts had widely expected the deal to go through.

But on Wednesday morning, AT&T said the timing of the deal's closing is now "uncertain".

"We're prepared to litigate now", Stephenson said at a conference this week hosted by the New York Times. The government has the burden to show that the deal would reduce competition.

Unfortunately, despite Trump's rhetoric on the stump, he has not held to that view as president.

The president has frequently referred to CNN as "fake news". As a candidate, Donald Trump vowed to block the deal because it concentrated too much "power in the hands of too few".

So some observers have been concerned about possible interference all year long. "Throughout this process, I have never offered to sell CNN and have no intention of doing so", he said.

According to the report, Ginsberg rejected Kushner's suggestion, as "there was no scenario under which Time Warner would do that, one of the people familiar with the matter said".

Trump was quoted criticizing the DOJ several times last week.

The Justice Department has historically been insulated from political pressure.

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