The Justice Department intends to sue AT&T to stop its $85 billion purchase of Time Warner, according to a person familiar with the matter who was not authorized to discuss the matter ahead of the suit’s official filing.
That sets the stage for a legal battle with AT&T. The telecom giant’s CEO Randall Stephenson said earlier this month that he would not sell “key franchises” of Time Warner to get the deal done.
The government’s objections to the deal have surprised many on Wall Street. AT&T and Time Warner are not direct competitors. Mergers between such companies have typically had an easier time winning government approval.