Last week, the U.S. Department of Justice filed
suit to block AT&T's planned $85.4 billion acquisition of Time
Warner Inc <TWX.N>, the parent of CNN, because of antitrust
concerns about the merged company owning too much content and
Before the suit, Justice Department staff had recommended AT&T
sell either its DirecTV unit or Time Warner’s Turner
Broadcasting unit, which includes CNN, to win antitrust
approval, sources have told Reuters.
Earlier this month, Reuters first reported that Rupert Murdoch,
who shares the title of executive chair of Fox, telephoned AT&T
CEO Randall Stephenson twice to discuss CNN during the past six
"We wouldn’t be allowed to buy CNN and we would never be
interested in buying CNN,” Lachlan Murdoch, Rupert's oldest son,
said at the Business Insider conference.
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Fox owns Fox News and while there is no law against a company owning
two cable networks, a deal could raise antitrust concerns.
Stephenson has said he has no intention of selling CNN to gain
approval of the acquisition of Time Warner.
Lachlan Murdoch declined to comment on reports that Fox has been
approached by a number of suitors, including Walt Disney Co, for a
sizeable piece of its business, adding that he feels strongly about
the company’s standing as a standalone company.
He did acknowledge the challenges facing media companies today,
noting as the pace of cable subscribers declines in the United
States increased, international revenue and having a direct to
consumer offering is increasingly important.
(Reporting By Jessica Toonkel; Editing by Bill Trott)
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