ATT, U.S. Justice Department fail to reach Time Warner settlement: court filing

The U.S. Department of Justice and ATamp;T Inc have held ineffective settlement talks within the wireless and pay-TV firm’s bid to buy film and TV show manufacturer Time Warner Inc., the two sides said in a court filing on Friday.

The Justice Department has sued to prevent ATamp;T, owner of DirecTV and the No. 2 U.S. wireless firm, from purchasing Time Warner for $85-billion due to concerns that it could increase prices for competitions and pay-TV subscribers and hamper the growth of online video.

A trial to determine the matter is set to start on March 19, and run about 15 days, according to the filing.

Both sides noted in the filing, which set out an agreed schedule leading up to the March trial, there’d been unsuccessful settlement negotiations between the two.

“All parties have participated in good-faith settlement discussions, but despite their efforts, haven’t been able to settle the issue,” the filing stated.

In an attempt to help achieve an agreement, ATamp;T and Time Warner last month provided to use licensing conditions that prohibit Time Warner’s Turner unit from “going dark” on any distributor for seven years after the deal closes if they were to reach an impasse in negotiations.

In preparation for the trial, closing reality witness lists will be exchanged by Feb. 2 and all pretrial motions should be submitted by March 12, according to the court filing.

Courtesy: The Globe And Mail

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