The U.S. Department of Justice may block Time Warner's sale to AT&T if it doesn't sell CNN first, according to a report from the Financial Times. The $85.4 billion deal was proposed last year, just weeks before the U.S. presidential election.
After Donald Trump was elected, some wondered if his disdain for the cable news channel would somehow thwart the deal. The FT is now reporting that this may actually happen.
SCOOP US department of justice tells AT&T it must sell CNN if its bid for Time Warner is to be approved, reflecting Donald Trump's hostility to the deal - and his hatred of CNN https://t.co/ZnC41qmob2
— Matthew Garrahan (@MattGarrahan) November 8, 2017
The report says that AT&T is opposed to selling CNN and plans to fight this in court.
It's typical for large deals to undergo antitrust review to avoid unfair competition or monopolies. It's not typical for the President to weigh in on a deal, due to a personal grudge against a company.
Shortly before the election, Trump promised to block the deal if he were elected into office.
CNN declined to comment on the potential sale. AT&T has not yet responded to comment.
TechCrunch is owned by Verizon, a competitor of AT&T. The author of this story previously worked at CNN.
- This article originally appeared on TechCrunch.