AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson Meets With Trump To Discuss Time Warner Deal

Posted January 14, 2017

But AT&T stated yesterday that the merger did not come up during the meeting, and that Trump and Stephenson instead discussed how AT&T can help grow the US economy and job market.

But with AT&T's massive merger still pending, and with Trump having publicly opposed the deal, it would surprising if the acquisition was not brought up in the meeting. The Department of Justice will review the transaction.

The merger will be subject to approval by the Justice Department, but may avoid scrutiny from the Federal Communications Commission.

As reported by Bloomberg, Stephenson arrived at 9:20 a.m. EST with Robert Quinn, AT&T's senior executive vice president for external and legislative affairs.

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At a campaign rally in October, Mr. Trump said the deal was "too much concentration of power in the hands of too few" and called the merger "an example of the power structure I am fighting".

Trump's pick for the attorney general role, Jeff Sessions, said in recent days that he did not discuss the planned merger in his meetings with Trump.

BTIG analyst Rich Greenfield shared the view that it's unlikely the merger could be halted.

Trump hasn't spoken about the deal since the election, but his ongoing battle with CNN flared anew this week with the cable news network's reporting on allegations that Russian Federation gathered compromising information on Trump. He had a confrontation with CNN reporter Jim Acosta at a Wednesday news conference and blasted the network again Thursday via Twitter.

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The deal would give AT&T, which already owns DirecTV, further control over the United States media by adding, among other properties, media giant CNN.

President-elect Donald Trump held a meeting with AT&T executives on Thursday.

"I don't know that this one meeting suddenly suggests that Trump is going to be intimately involved in every transaction", Murino said. Analysts have noted that AT&T could sidestep a number of regulatory issues - including the requirement of FCC review - by divesting certain pieces of the Time Warner media group (such as local TV stations).

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