AT&T won the green light for its $80bn takeover of Time Warner on Tuesday after a federal judge in Washington rejected the US government’s argument that it would harm competition, paving the way for a blockbuster transaction that could reshape the US media sector.
Judge Richard Leon sided with the two corporate giants in what was the government’s first big antitrust litigation against a vertical merger in decades. He allowed the proposed deal to go ahead without any conditions, sending shares of Time Warner higher.
The ruling is a blow to Makan Delrahim, the justice department’s antitrust chief, whose attempt to stop the deal was cast by AT&T as being politically motivated. President Donald Trump had promised to block the transaction as a candidate in the 2016 elections.
Asia-Pacific markets were mixed on Wednesday ahead of the US Federal Reserve’s policy decision later i the session. The Hang Seng index was off 0.6 per cent and the S&P/ASX 200 slipped by the same amount. In Tokyo, the Topix index was up 0.5 per cent.
Futures tip the FTSE 100 to open 0.1 per cent lower while the S&P 500 is set to rise 0.2 per cent.
The corporate calendar for Wednesday includes Charles Stanley and Mulberry Group. The economic calendar knows it is the warm-up act (all times London):
- 08.00: Spain consumer price index
- 08.00: Turkey industrial production
- 09.30: UK CPI
- 10.00: eurozone industrial production