AT&T’s merger with Time Warner has lead to one of the most important, but least interesting, antitrust trials in recent history.
The merger itself is somewhat unimportant to consumers. It’s about a close to a “pure” vertical merger as we can get in today’s world and would not lead to a measurable increase in prices paid by consumers. At the same time, Richard J. Leon’s decision to approve the merger may have sent a signal regarding how the anticipated Fox-Disney (or Comcast), CVS-Aetna, and Cigna-Express Scripts mergers might proceed.
Judge Leon of the United States District Court in Washington, said the U.S. Department of Justice had not proved that AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner would lead to fewer choices for consumers and higher prices for television and internet services.
As shown in the figure below, there is virtually no overlap in services provided by Time Warner (content creation and broadcasting)…
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