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Consumer Groups Ask Attorney General Sessions to Block AT&T, Time Warner Deal

13 Jul, 2017 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Seven consumer groups have reportedly appealed to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to block AT&T’s $85.4 billion acquisition of Time Warner, parent company of Warner Bros., Turner and HBO.

In a letter, the groups, which include Consumer Federation of America, Consumers Union, Public Knowledge and Common Cause, among others, contend the deal will be anti-consumer — thus creating “grave dangers to consumers and creators in mature and emerging markets.”

Specifically, they allege AT&T could withhold content from third-party distributors and streaming services in favor of proprietary DirecTV and standalone over-the-top service DirecTV Now.

"If you conclude, as appears to us from the available information, that conditions and piecemeal divestitures will not be sufficient, then we hope you will challenge the merger in its entirety," the groups said, as reported by Reuters.

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