AT&T, Time Warner Really Need Each Other to Take on Netflix, Google and Amazon

It’s not surprising that AT&T and Time Warner say their merger would benefit consumers and competition, especially with their antitrust trial starting next week. But they also insist the business combination is vital to each of them, even while they generate billions in profit.In a lengthy court filing on Friday, they reeled off a host of shortcomings, from AT&T’s decline in TV subscribers to Time Warner’s lack of customer contacts. And they said the way forward is together.“For AT&T, the future of video lies in its wireless network, and the future of its wireless network lies in video,” the filing said.The Dallas telecom giant wants to create a new wave of video programs and packages, especially for mobile audiences. In the legal brief, AT&T and Time Warner described the competitive pressures they’re facing and laid out the rationale for the merger, valued at almost $109 billion, including debt.The Justice Department has sued to block the deal, arguing it would lead to higher monthly bills for viewers and a slowdown in the growth of emerging video models. The trial — the first in four decades for a so-called vertical merger — is scheduled to begin Monday in Washington. The government dismissed the notion that AT&T and Time Warner are just trying to keep up with tech leaders like Netflix, Amazon, Google and Facebook.That’s “just a variation on a common refrain by merging parties who claim that their industry is changing rapidly,” the Justice Department wrote in its Friday filing.   Continue reading...

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