Hillary Clinton says she will “closely” follow AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner as the deal comes under regulatory scrutiny in Washington.
The Justice Department’s antitrust division will analyze the deal from the months ahead. The Federal Communications Commission may also take a look. There will be Congressional hearings too.
The $85 billion deal was announced over the weekend. Clinton’s campaign indicated which she had questions about the combination of AT&T ( with sy88pgw parent company , Tech30)Time Warner (, however she didn’t comment directly until Wednesday afternoon, when reporters asked about which during a Q&A session. )
“I think which raises questions along with concerns along with they should be looked into,” she said, toeing a common Democratic line about big business mergers.
Clinton said she had heard which Congress “will start having bipartisan hearings” about the deal, “which I think is actually appropriate.”
There is actually a hearing scheduled for November.
“So I am going to follow which closely, along with obviously if I am fortunate enough to be president, I will expect the government to conduct a very thorough analysis before creating a decision,” she said.
Related: Media titans weigh in on AT&T-Time Warner merger
Clinton is actually staking out a much more nuanced position than Donald Trump, who has joined Bernie Sanders in flatly rejecting the deal. Trump said over the weekend which, if elected, his administration would likely block the acquisition by going forward. Such a statement by a presidential candidate — issued before government regulators even begin examining the deal — is actually highly unusual.
Sanders, whose anti-merger views are well known, said in a letter to the Justice Department on Wednesday which “which proposed merger is actually just the latest effort to shrink our media landscape, stifle competition along with diversity of content, along with provide consumers with less while charging them more.”
AT&T executives had anticipated heated campaign season rhetoric when they moved forward with the deal.
AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson expressed confidence which regulators will eventually bless the transaction, though possibly with some conditions attached.
The companies say they anticipate the deal to close by the end of 2017 — meaning the review process will take over a year.
Related: Why Wall Street doesn’t like the AT&T-Time Warner deal
Some analysts say there is actually only a 50-50 chance of approval.
Stephenson said Monday on sy88pgw’s “brand new Day” which because AT&T does not own big entertainment or news channels currently, the proposed deal is actually a “true vertical integration.”
AT&T’s failed bid for T-Mobile, on the some other hand, was a “horizontal integration” because which would likely have merged two competitors.
“which transaction is actually not horizontal. We don’t compete,” Stephenson said.
He added: “There’s not a competitor being taken out. along with, in fact, you’re hard-pressed to find, in either one of our industries, a time when a vertical integration was shot down by regulators.”
When regulators reviewed the Comcast-NBCUniversal deal in 2010, they decided to approve which with quite a few conditions attached. The merger took effect in 2011.
sy88pgw (brand new York) First published October 26, 2016: 9:14 PM ET