Rupert Murdoch twice discussed CNN with AT&T CEO

Rupert Murdoch twice discussed CNN with AT&T CEO

That's raising red flags for some who worry that the White House is trying to put pressure on CNN, the news network owned by Time Warner.

The US Department of Justice, the country's antitrust regulator, is investigating the deal and has recommended that AT&T either sell its DirecTV unit or Time Warner's Turner Broadcasting unit, which includes CNN, according to reports this week. The Justice Department has asked that assets like cable news network CNN and satellite provider DirecTV be sold, according to people familiar with the matter.

In February, President Donald Trump's adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner told an executive at CNN's parent company Time Warner that they should fire 20 percent of the cable news agency's staff.

Flawed Data from House Leadership Attempts to Hide Tax Hikes Under Proposal
Kevin Brady was making last-minute changes before the panel votes later Thursday to deliver it to the full House. The figure tops the $1.5 trillion in deficits allowed under budget rules the GOP is using to pass a tax bill.

Rather than attempting to weaken CNN as a condition of the merger, the DOJ should move against it for the reasons cited by Trump himself while campaigning in Gettysburg in 2016. As president, Trump has often blasted CNN for its coverage of him and his administration, disparaging it and its reporters as "fake news".

A DOJ source quoted by Politico later claimed that AT&T and Time Warner itself had offered to shed CNN to diminish antitrust concerns about the merger. "We are prepared to litigate now", Stephenson told CNBC on the sidelines of the New York Times Dealbook conference. "You can dislike consolidation but still find this extremely disturbing if true".

Delrahim said he had not had any contact with the White House or the attorney general on the matter, speaking at an event at the USC Gould School of Law in Los Angeles later in the day. Trump was apparently referring to Makan Delrahim, the chief of the Justice Department's antitrust division. AT&T shares rose 1.6 percent to $33.97. The companies had been planning to finalize the deal by the end of the year, and just last week AT&T said it was confident it would win approval for the deal since it does not involve direct competitors.

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