When the deal was first proposed in 2016, Trump made a promise to stop it “because it’s too much concentration of power in the hands of two few.” He was not able to keep that campaign promise as U.S. District Judge Richard Leon dismissed the argument. Since they are not looked at as direct competitors, the merger is not seen as an attempt to form a monopoly but a vertical merger.
This ruling may impact the future of antitrust regulations.
AT&T, who already owns the DirecTV streaming service, launched a cheaper alternative, WatchTV and is planning on launching another, WarnerMedia later this year.
This is days after a bidding war between Disney and Comcast for most of 21st Century Fox’s properties. Disney eventually won the bidding was, and Comcast purchased the broadcaster Sky in its place.
Meanwhile, Sprint and T-Mobile are attempting to merge. Both the Justice Department and the FCC are looking into deal, seeing how the two are, in fact, direct competitors.