U.S. Justice Department, AT&T settlement talks failed:
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[December 16, 2017]
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The
U.S. Department of Justice and AT&T Inc <T.N> have held unsuccessful
settlement talks over the wireless and pay-TV company's bid to buy movie
and TV show maker Time Warner Inc <TWX.N>, the two sides said in a court
filing on Friday.
The Justice Department has sued to stop AT&T, owner of DirecTV and the
No. 2 U.S. wireless company, from buying Time Warner for $85 billion
because of concerns that it could raise prices for rivals and pay-TV
subscribers and hamper the development of online video.
A trial to decide the matter is set to begin on March 19, and run about
15 days, according to the filing.
The two sides noted in the filing, which set out an agreed schedule
leading up to the March trial, that there had been unsuccessful
settlement discussions between the two.
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The AT&T logo is pictured during the Forbes Forum 2017 in Mexico
City, Mexico, September 18, 2017. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido
"All parties have engaged in good-faith settlement negotiations, but despite
their efforts, have not been able to settle the matter," the filing said.
In an effort to help reach an agreement, AT&T and Time Warner last month offered
to use licensing terms that forbid Time Warner's Turner unit from "going dark"
on any distributor for seven years after the deal closes if they were to reach
an impasse in negotiations.
In preparation for the trial, final fact witness lists will be exchanged by Feb.
2 and all pretrial motions should be filed by March 12, according to the court
(Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Bill Rigby)
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