The Justice Department has lost an appeal seeking to reverse the merger of AT&T and Time Warner.
The Justice Department sued last year to halt the deal, arguing that it would stifle competition. But after a months-long court battle, a judge handed down an extraordinarily one-sided decision in the companies’ favor earlier this year.
The Justice Department moved to appeal the decision, but allowed the $85 billion deal to move ahead without a fight as the appeals court made its determination.
Today, the panel of judges on the court announced that the department had failed to demonstrate anticompetitive behavior.
While the Justice Department could appeal the decision further to the Supreme Court, it’s unclear that it will be willing to continue the fight. The Trump administration has been trying to unravel the tie-up saying that it would lead to higher prices for pay-TV subscribers around the country.
In a statement, AT&T General Counsel David McAtee argued the merger had “yielded significant consumer benefits.”
“While we respect the important role that the U.S. Department of Justice plays in the merger review process, we trust that today’s unanimous decision from the D.C. Circuit will end this litigation,” McAtee said in the statement.
The case is U.S. v. AT&T Inc., 18-5214, U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit (Washington).