Federal decide Richard Leon performed it straight down the center in his first ruling on the US authorities’s controversial go well with to cease AT&T from shopping for Time Warner.
The DC courtroom decide set March 19 because the trial date — a bit sooner than the Might 7 date that the Division of Justice needed however later than the Feb. 20 date AT&T had requested.
President Trump’s DOJ has sued to cease AT&T from finishing the $eighty five billion merger, alleging that combining AT&T’s DirectTV service with Time Warner, which owns TNT, HBO, and CNN, would give AT&T the motivation to boost charges for Time Warner’s packages.
AT&T — whose CEO Randall Stephenson has steered that Trump could also be trying to block the merger out of spite for CNN — says Time Warner could have the identical incentive to distribute its programming as extensively as potential.
MoginRubin lawyer Jonathan Rubin, who’s presently litigating an antitrust case towards Visa and Mastercard earlier than Decide Leon, says he’s a no-nonsense decide.
“My expertise is he has little or no endurance for formalism,” and certain won’t be wowed by both the federal government or AT&T’s extremely regarded authorized eagles from O’Melveny.
“He’s unbiased and can make up his personal thoughts,” Rubin stated. “The edges will get to litigate the details, not politics. Leon needs events to stay to their knitting and to not squabble.”