Time Warner's Content Became Leverage in Talks With YouTube, Lawyers Fighting AT&T Contend

U.S. antitrust officials trying to stop AT&T Inc.'s takeover of Time Warner Inc. pointed to Time Warner's use of HBO as leverage in programming talks with distributors, including YouTube, as evidence of the kind of bargaining power AT&T would gain from the deal.HBO was at the center of talks with YouTube when the video site was starting an online TV service. YouTube didn't want to take all of Time Warner's Turner Broadcasting channels because it wanted to offer a slimmed-down package of channels at a lower cost than traditional cable.That would have caused "irreparable harm" to Turner's business model, Turner executive Coleman Breland, who negotiated with YouTube, said in an email presented in court Monday by the Justice Department. Breland told Time Warner Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bewkes about YouTube's position, and Bewkes in turn told HBO to stop negotiating with YouTube on a programming deal, Breland testified.  Continue reading...

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