‘No Blackout' Offer Protects Pay TV Consumers in AT&T Deal, Time Warner Executive Testifies

A Time Warner Inc. executive defended an arbitration plan aimed at resolving the Justice Department's opposition to the company's proposed sale to AT&T Inc., saying pay-TV distributors would gain an edge in programming negotiations.Richard Warren, president of content distribution at Time Warner's Turner Broadcasting, testified Tuesday that arbitration offered to cable and satellite TV companies would reduce Turner's leverage because it won't have the option to walk away from negotiations and pull programming from the distributor."I'm in a weakened position," Warren said.The hard-fought negotiations between Turner and pay-TV companies such as Dish Network Corp. over programming have been a constant theme in the antitrust trial over AT&T's nearly $109 billion deal for Time Warner. The Justice Department says the takeover should be blocked because AT&T will gain leverage in the negotiations and be able to raise costs for TV subscribers by hundreds of millions of dollars a year.  Continue reading...

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