Writers Guild of America West Backs Blocking AT And T-Time Warner Merger

November 20, 2017 3:03PM PT
The Writers Guild of America has strongly endorsed the U.S. Department of Justice’s suit to block the AT&TTime Warner merger.The lawsuit was filed Monday afternoon in U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia, setting up a potential courtroom showdown.
The WGA West, which represents more than 9,000 members, said it has always opposed the proposed deal because it would undermine competition, restrict consumer access, and raise prices.The transaction looked to be on its way to government approval just a few months ago, but the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division has made it clear in recent weeks that it was prepared to challenge the transaction.  They reportedly told AT&T executives that selling Turner Broadcasting or DirecTV could be a possible remedy for their concerns.
Here is the entire WGA West statement:“Writers Guild of America West welcomes action by the U.S. Department of Justice to block the merger between AT&T and Time Warner. As we have stated since this deal was first proposed, the size, scope, and potential harm to both consumers and content creators provide ample reason to block the merger on its merits. The proposed combination of must-have content with vast control over distribution would give the company broad power to undermine competition, restrict access to programming, and raise prices. This merger would result in a media behemoth even larger than the failed Comcast-Time Warner Cable venture, and should be stopped. With reports surfacing each week of other possible media mergers, blocking this deal has only become more critical.”



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