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US appeals court says AT&T deal to buy Time Warner is legal

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A US appeals court upheld on Tuesday a lower court ruling that wireless and satellite TV provider AT&T Inc's deal to buy content maker Time Warner for US$85.4 billion was legal under antitrust law.

[WASHINGTON] A US appeals court upheld on Tuesday a lower court ruling that wireless and satellite TV provider AT&T Inc's deal to buy content maker Time Warner for US$85.4 billion was legal under antitrust law.

The three-judge panel on the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled per curiam, or unanimously, in favour of the deal, calling the Justice Department's arguments "unpersuasive."

The Justice Department had asked the court to declare the deal illegal, arguing that AT&T, which owns DirecTV, would use ownership of Time Warner's content, such as CNN and HBO's "Game of Thrones," to make pay-TV rivals pay more, thus raising prices for consumers.

The Justice Department and AT&T did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

AT&T shares were last up 0.5 per cent in morning trade.

REUTERS

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