THE DISTRICT COURT’S AT&T/TIME WARNER DECISION: INSIGHTS INTO THE LAW OF VERTICAL INTEGRATION By Christopher S. Yoo

The U.S. District Court’s opinion unconditionally approving AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner is often mistakenly regarded as the mere application of settled law to a particular case. A close reading of the decision yields insights in five areas: (1) what constitutes must-have content; (2) the importance of focusing exclusively on merger-specific harms; (3) the importance of showing both the ability and the incentive to harm competition; (4) the increasing importance of empirical analysis; and (5) the problems with dual-agency review. As such, analysis of the District Court opinion will continue to provide key lessons even if it is superseded on appeal.