Senate's antitrust subcommittee probes AT&T's acquisition of Time Warner in a hearing attended by chief executives of both companies. Bobbi Rebell reports.
AT&T and Time Warner's chief executives were on Capitol Hill to make the case to the Senate antitrust committee that their $85.4 billion merger would increase innovation, help competition, and benefit consumers. Time Warner's Jeff Bewkes: (SOUNDBITE) JEFF BEWKES, CHAIRMAN AND CEO, TIME WARNER, INC., (ENGLISH) SAYING: "In short, combining Time Warner's video content with AT&T's distribution will accelerate the development and delivery of the next generation of video services, providing consumers with greater choice, convenience, value, and, importantly, better affordability." Some committee members expressed concerns that the deal would create incentives for AT&T to refuse to license Time Warner content to competitors and favor the company's own movies and television shows over independent content. But AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson was quick to respond. (SOUNDBITE) RANDALL L. STEPHENSON, CHAIRMAN AND CEO, AT&T, (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Before the merger and after the merger, the competitive market looks identical, the distribution market looks identical, the content creation market looks identical. There are no overlaps." U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, whose administration will decide whether to approve the merger, said during the campaign that it should be blocked.