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AT&T’s $85 billion deal for Time Warner is a humiliating black eye for DOJ officials, but the real worry is if it taught them the wrong lesson (T, TWX, CMCSA)

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AT&T’s $85 billion deal for Time Warner is a humiliating black eye for DOJ officials, but the real worry is if it taught them the wrong lesson (T, TWX, CMCSA)

The big danger of the Justice Department's loss in its attempt to block AT&T's merger with Time Warner is that it will discourage the DOJ from pursuing other antitrust cases. That would be an unfortunate outcome, because the case was unusual and doesn't necessarily portend similar outcomes in other cases. Indeed, the DOJ has good reason both to block some other outstanding mergers and to believe it could win those cases. The US Justice Department lost its effort to block AT&T's merger with Time Warner. But the biggest losers could be the rest of us, depending on how federal antitrust regulators react to the decision. If the lesson the DOJ (and the FTC which oversees mergers), take away is that