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US: DOJ vs. AT&T-TW: battle lines drawn

 |  March 19, 2018

The US antitrust trial against AT&T’s proposed takeover of Time Warner opened with clashes over whether the Justice Department should be allowed to introduce internal company documents that it claims contain “startling” admissions, reported Bloomberg.

US District Judge Richard Leon is weighing arguments from the department’s antitrust division and AT&T about the standards for allowing the documents as evidence in the trial, which began Monday in federal court in Washington.

The dispute could be key to the government’s argument that the Time Warner takeover should be blocked on antitrust grounds. In merger lawsuits, antitrust officials often rely on emails or internal memos, known as “hot docs,” in which employees make damaging statements that support the government’s case that a deal is a threat to competition.

Justice Department attorney Eric Welsh told Leon on Monday that the emails in question contain “startling” admissions by employees and that it was up to the companies to “explain away” what is said in them.

Full Content: Bloomberg

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