AT&T bid to access White House records thwarted - Mobile World Live

AT&T bid to access White House records thwarted

21 FEB 2018

A federal judge blocked an attempt by AT&T to access communications between the White House and Department of Justice (DoJ) related to an $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner.

AT&T sought access to email, phone and other records as part of an effort to show a DoJ decision to oppose the acquisition was politically motivated. In a pre-trial court hearing, the DoJ contended it had already supplied a log of direct communications between the White House and its antitrust department, The Washington Post (WP) reported.

The judge ultimately ruled AT&T failed to provide evidence of bias which would have warranted further disclosures.

AT&T’s argument the government singled it out for enforcement appeared to be based, in part, on an apparent change of heart by US antitrust chief Makan Delrahim. Prior to being appointed to lead the DoJ’s regulatory division, Delrahim stated he did not believe the acquisition presented a major problem.

However, President Trump vocally opposed the transaction while campaigning for election in 2016, and in November 2017 the DoJ, led by Delrahim, announced it would sue to block the deal.

In a statement to WP, AT&T said it respected the judge’s decision and is looking forward to the start of a full trial on 19 March.


Diana Goovaerts

Diana is Mobile World Live's US Editor, reporting on infrastructure and spectrum rollouts, regulatory issues, and other carrier news from the US market. Diana came to GSMA from her former role as Editor of Wireless Week and CED Magazine, digital-only...

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