A federal judge in Washington today approved AT&T’s $85 billion merger with Time Warner.
The ruling from U.S. District Judge Richard Leon draws to a potential close one of the most important and influential antitrust cases in decades. The Justice Department surprised experts by even bringing the suit. This is the first time in at least 40 years the U.S. has challenged a vertical merger.
Lawyers representing companies with potential mergers in the works have followed the trial’s developments, with the expectation that Tuesday’s outcome could have ripple effects for their proposed deals, such as efforts by CVS Health plans to buy Aetna Inc., and efforts by Cigna Corp. to acquire Express Scripts.
A copy of the decision is available here.
O’Melveny & Myers partner Daniel Petrocelli, who represented AT&T, said immediately after the ruling he was “extremely pleased with the court’s decision that this merger will finally close” after “a long time.” He said the “evidence throughout the trial was quite clear and we’re very pleased the court saw it the same way.”