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US: Media giants dislike DoJ’s antitrust remedy for AT&T-Time Warner deal

 |  May 30, 2018

Media giants Walt Disney, Fox and CBS pushed to intervene in the US Department of Justice’s challenge to AT&T’s $85 billion merger with Time Warner, arguing Tuesday that the American Cable Association’s proposed antitrust remedy for the deal would endanger their confidential licensing agreements.

ACA, a small operator-focused lobby and Princeton, New Jersey-based MSO RCN proposed a modification to AT&T’s offer to allow for baseball-style arbitration in program-licensing talks, enabling pay TV operators to access the programmers’ other distribution agreements before bidding.

But in a brief filed yesterday to the Washington, D.C., court overseeing the Justice Department’s attempt to stop the merger, the programmers said they simply can’t allow these contract terms to be disclosed.

“Because the content companies will suffer significant harm if the terms of their agreements are disclosed to third parties, the agreements are subject to strict internal controls and contain stringent mutual confidentiality provisions,” the brief said.

“The content companies thus seek to intervene to ensure that any remedy fashioned by this Court protects their highly confidential, competitively sensitive information,” the filing added. “Because only the content companies can adequately protect their significant confidentiality interests, they are entitled to intervene as a matter of right.”

Full Content: Broadcasting Cable

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