AT&T has retained a powerful tool to fight for their new Time Warner deal. Christine Varney, former antitrust division head has joined the army of lawyers that will handle the case. Varney is now a partner at Cravath Swaine and Moore.
Varney’s role flipped from the government official who signed off on the Comcast-NBCUniversal settlement to advising companies on a similar merger that the government opposes. She is the lead Cravath signature on AT&T and Time Warner’s response to the DOJ lawsuit, which specifically cites Comcast-NBCUniversal as an example of how AT&T and Time Warner should be treated.
On Thursday, March 19 was announced as a start date for a trial in the Justice Department’s challenge to AT&T’s proposed merger with Time Warner.
US District Judge Richard Leon said the trial would last an estimated three weeks, but a decision before April 22, the deadline that the two companies set to close the deal, “is not happening.” Even if the trial is over by that date, he said that it was unrealistic to expect that he would be able to render an opinion by that date.
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