AT&T takeover of Time Warner approved by judge

Keshala Dias

AT&T won the right to complete its $85 billion takeover of Time Warner in a blow to the Trump administration which had fought hard to have the deal scrapped.

The ruling, delivered around 1 p.m. Eastern Time by Judge Richard Leon of the US District Court for the District of Columbia, will embolden executives and attorneys at Comcast, which could field an all-cash offer for 21st Century Fox’s entertainment assets as early as this week. Shares in Fox gained 6% after the ruling was announced.

“We look forward to closing the merger on or before June 20 so we can begin to give consumers video entertainment that is more affordable, mobile, and innovative,” AT&T General Counsel David McAtee said in a statement.

Time Warner owns CNN, HBO, home to Game of Thrones and Veep, and Warner Brothers, whose franchises included Batman, the Lego movies, and Harry Potter.