One Reason to Not Block AT&T-Time Warner? All the Upside From the American-US Air Deal

Let’s hope the Justice Department is bluffing again, this time with AT&T and Time Warner Inc.Four years ago, it filed suit to stop the merger of American Airlines and US Airways, arguing that the combination would reduce competition and lead to higher airfares. Within three months, the sides hammered out a compromise that allowed the deal to go forward — and enabled American to complete one of the greatest turnarounds ever.After years of losses, the new American has been racking up big profits and stock market gains. More important, American has added 15,000 new jobs since the merger closed in December 2013. It also increased employee pay by a weighted average of 39 percent — 71 percent for pilots — and restored over $300 million in profit-sharing.American has spent billions to replace roughly 500 planes and add better seats and amenities. Customer satisfaction has improved steadily. And average fares in the United States have gone down since the merger, according to federal data.While every merger is different, American's history is worth recounting as the Justice Department considers blocking another game-changing deal for another hometown company.AT&T has agreed to pay almost $109 billion, including debt, to acquire Time Warner, which owns HBO, CNN, Turner and Warner Bros. By combining its huge distribution in wireless phones and pay TV with Time Warner content, AT&T hopes to usher in the next evolution in digital entertainment.  Continue reading...

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