AT&T once again extended the deadline for its merger with Time Warner, as the company prepares to head to trial with the US Department of Justice (DoJ) early next year.
In a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the operator reported both it and Time Warner agreed to push their merger deadline back another two months to 21 June 2018. The deadline was previously extended from October of this year to 22 April 2018 after the DoJ sued to block the deal.
Earlier this month, a US district court judge set a 19 March date for AT&T’s courtroom showdown with the DoJ. However, Judge Richard Leon said he did not expect to issue a decision in the case in time for AT&T’s April deadline and recommended the companies shift the date.
Leon added he expects to rule in the case sometime in April or May.
The DoJ sought to block the transaction on the grounds it would harm both consumers and AT&T competitors by way of giving AT&T the leverage and incentive to charge higher prices for Time Warner content.
AT&T countered that argument, casting the deal as a “pro-competitive, pro-consumer response to an intensely competitive and rapidly changing video marketplace”.