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A federal judge will issue an opinion Tuesday on the government’s attempt to block an $85.4 billion merger between AT&T and Time Warner.
The rest of the industry is anxiously awaiting the decision.
AT&T has long been at the center of such antitrust lawsuits.

Federal judge Richard Leon will issue an opinion Tuesday on the US government’s lawsuit to block an $85.4 billion merger between AT&T and Time Warner.

The decision will be closely watched by a telecommunications industry in the midst of mega mergers. Sprint Corp. and T-Mobile US Inc. have a proposed $26 billion merger, and Disney and Comcast are competing for 21st Century Fox.

AT&T is arguing that the deal represents a vertical merger between two related, but noncompeting, companies, and that these kinds of mergers have been permitted in the past.

Its not the first time AT&T sits at the center of industry-reckoning antitrust decisions. In its more than 240 year existence, American Telephone & Telegraph has battled the federal government, splintering, reorganizing, merging anew.

AT&T’s century-long battles with the government are as old as the company itself.

1876

Alexander Graham Bell, a 29-year-old Scot, unveils an invention at an exhibition that shocks and awes attendees. “Watson, come here. I want to see you.” Those six words, uttered out of the Bell Telephone, gave rise to the largest telecommunications company in the world.

1885

American Telephone & Telegraph Company, a subsidiary of American Bell, is charged with building America’s first long-distance network. The first route opens between New York and Philadelphia.

1899

After a corporate reorganization, AT&T becomes the parent company.

1913

AT&T experiences its first of many antitrust battles with the federal government. The government believed the AT&T operated as a monopoly by refusing to allow independent telephone companies to connect to its network, and buying companies …read more

Source:: Business Insider

      

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