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US: DirecTV wants out of DOJ’s fight with AT&T, Time Warner

 |  April 18, 2018

DIRECTV, which was acquired by AT&T for US$49 billion in 2015, on Tuesday, April 17, filed a motion asking US District Judge Richard Leon to either dismiss it from the matter or enter a judgment in its favor, reported Reuters. DIRECTV says the Department of Justice (DOJ) has failed to show it belongs in the fight over AT&T’s proposed $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner.

“DIRECTV is not the seller, the acquired entity, or a major stockholder of the acquirer,” lawyers for the company said in a filing.

In its request, DIRECTV alleged that the DOJ included the company as a defendant so it could use critical statements its executives made about the 2011 merger of Comcast and NBCU as part of the government’s argument against the AT&T/Time Warner deal. AT&T bought DIRECTV in 2015.

“The government has failed to state a claim for relief against DIRECTV, which is not a party to the challenged merger, much less an acquirer of any stock or assets (as the Clayton Act requires),” wrote AT&T’s attorney Daniel Petrocelli. “Nor has the government introduced any evidence that could justify finding that DIRECTV bears any liability in this case or that its presence is necessary for full and effective relief.”

Petrocelli argued that even if the government follows through on a newly mentioned plan to seek divestiture of DIRECTV, the satellite company still wouldn’t need to be involved in the matter because the court could directly order AT&T to divest DIRECTV.

Full Content: Reuters & Hollywood Reporter

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