Kushner Chided Time Warner to Fire 20% of CNN Staff

Kushner Chided Time Warner to Fire 20% of CNN Staff

Kushner Chided Time Warner to Fire 20% of CNN Staff

This week, Delrahim and other agency officials told AT&T that the deal as it now stands raises anti-competition concerns, and that the company will need to shed some assets, perhaps either Turner or DirecTV. The agency has a decades-long history of approving similar deals, including the merger of Comcast and NBCUniversal in 2011.

According to a person familiar with the situation, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the person wasn't authorized to speak publicly, the Justice Department wants AT&T to sell video assets as a condition of approval.

Kushner reportedly filed complaints to CNN executives on a regular basis during the campaign, and was particularly displeased with its fact-checking, which, according to The Journal, prompted Kushner to call CNN president Jeff Zucker to say that members of the Trump campaign would not appear on the network.

The DoJ has said it does not comment on ongoing investigations.

Speculation among Wall Street insiders and people within the companies has risen over whether the administration's feeling about CNN could be influencing the decision, the Journal reported.

"For over 40 years, vertical mergers like this one have always been approved because they benefit consumers without removing any competitors from the market", AT&T said last week. He has not commented on the transaction since taking office in January.

"I have never been told that the price of getting the deal done was selling CNN, period", Stephenson said at a conference Thursday. But many, including AT&T executives, expected the acquisition to be finalized by the end of the year, and the DOJ's pushback has all but ensured that won't be the case. The government has the burden to show that the deal would reduce competition.

Being forced to sell off Turner is probably a "nonstarter" for AT&T, New Street Research analyst Jonathan Chaplin said.

The official the president referred to was DOJ anti-trust chief Makan Delrahim, a Trump appointee who has threatened to block the deal in court unless AT&T sells off either Turner Broadcasting or its DirecTV service-the latter option impossible as it would undermine the entire basis of the merger.

The Justice Department has historically been insulated from political pressure.

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