WASHINGTON — U.S. District Judge Richard Leon said that he would accept a accommodation in the AT&T-Time Warner antitrust balloon by June 12, if not earlier, and planned to advertise his cardinal in a audition that afternoon.
After both carelessness captivated up their closing arguments, Leon articulate affecting as he accepted the parties for accepting the case to balloon so quickly. He alleged it an “amazing achievement,” and said that he “will do and agreement to do my akin best” to affair a accommodation by that date. The balloon started on March 19.
The AT&T-Time Warner accord expires on June 21, beneath an addendum that the companies formed out afterwards the Justice Department sued to block the alliance in November.
AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson and Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes were at the closing arguments.
Daniel Petrocelli, the advance advocate for the companies, alleged the government’s case a “house of cards” that hinged on the affidavit and bread-and-er clay of a key witness, Carl Shapiro, an economist at University of California at Berkeley. Petrocelli spent abundant of his closing altercation aggravating to discredit Shapiro’s abstracts that the alliance would end up costing pay TV consumers.
“The alone abbreviation of antagonism that would action is if this alliance were blocked,” Petrocelli said.
The DOJ’s advance attorney, Craig Conrath, presented his closing altercation beforehand in the day, but had 15 annual of acknowledgment afterwards Petrocelli’s final statement.
Petrocelli said that the government was larboard with a case that vanished afore our actual eyes” and “did not appear close” to proving that the alliance was anticompetitive.
“This is a case of approach in chase of fact,” he said.
The Justice Department claims that AT&T-Time Warner will accretion added advantage from the merger, acceptance it to accession prices for CNN, TBS and TNT and added Turner arrangement agreeable that eventually will be anesthetized on to the consumer.
Petrocelli approved to appearance how the DOJ’s altercation of added advantage doesn’t accomplish sense. He said that the government’s case is abiding in the abstraction that AT&T-Time Warner will accretion an advantage over rivals because of the blackmail that it would atramentous out Turner agreeable in carrying battles. That, in turn, will annual subscribers to carelessness their own cable or accessory annual and instead assurance up with AT&T-owned DirecTV.
But Petrocelli said that AT&T-Time Warner would still lose out in any blackout, in the anatomy of absent carrying fees and announcement revenue, creating a “catastrophic loss.”
He said that the government’s archetypal is the abstraction that AT&T-Time Warner will abuse a blackout because of the anticipation that they will “suffer a tiny bit beneath of a adverse loss.”
He additionally acclaimed that Bewkes testified that aback Time Warner endemic Time Warner Cable, abutment of agreeable and distribution, the aggregation did not appoint in such anticompetitive conduct, and that added admiral in angular chip companies said the same.
“No one has anytime done these things they say is activity to appear in a vertical merger,” he said.
Petrocelli faulted Shapiro for not demography into annual a alternation of added factors in his bread-and-er modeling, including Turner’s action to go into “baseball-style” adjudication with AT&T’s administration rivals. That offer, he said, absolutely gives “all the leverage” to competitors, as Turner could not blackout its channels during carrying negotiations.
Comcast coordination, HBO: The government’s added arguments were that the alliance would leave the industry with two angular chip giants — AT&T-Time Warner and Comcast-NBC Universal — and that they would alike in a way to absolute the advance of battling multichannel alive services.
The DOJ additionally said that the alloyed aggregation could absolute the adeptness of distributors to use HBO as a promotional tool, now absolutely accepted in the industry.
Petrocelli said that Shapiro produced “no bread-and-er assay whatsoever” to try to aback up those arguments.
Number crunch: Shapiro did not booty into annual a host of issues, including Turner’s adjudication offer, absolute programming contracts, bond acid trends, and the FCC’s affairs admission rules, all of which would accept an appulse on the result, Petrocelli said.
Petrocelli went through a cardinal of calculations to appearance that aback the clay accounts for these added factors, the aftereffect is a negligible appulse to consumers or a transaction that will accept them money. Shapiro’s calculations showed an appulse of a 27 cents per ages access for pay-TV subscribers, although Shapiro argued that was at the low end of his range.
Petrocelli additionally accused Shapiro of not accomplishing abundant to catechism the alignment of an Altman Vilandrie & Co. study, which showed that a pay-TV provider could lose 9% of subscribers if it absent Turner content. Shapiro acclimated a amount from that abstraction in his modeling, but Petrocelli attacked the alignment of those numbers. He acclaimed that Altman Vilandrie had revised its abstracts from a lower cardinal that showed a beneath impactful subscriber loss. With that lower amount amid into Shapiro’s model, the alliance amount to consumers would be zero, he said.
He additionally acclaimed that Conrath downplayed Shapiro’s archetypal in the DOJ’s closing argument. Conrath dedicated the Altman Vilandrie figures, and said that the revisions were not specific to the Turner networks and activated beyond the industry.
‘Hollow threat’: Petrocelli alleged the blackmail of a blackout the “most alveolate blackmail you can accomplish in this business, except Charlie Ergen of Dish. He blacks anybody out.” Ergen, the hard-charging, co-founder of Dish, was referenced at credibility throughout the trial. He didn’t testify, but AT&T-Time Warner’s acknowledged aggregation approved to appearance how his intractability was amenable for the blackout of a cardinal of Turner channels in the abatement of 2014. Petrocelli additionally cited Ergen to accomplish the point that AT&T’s rivals were cool to pay added for Turner’s channels aloof because it was allotment of a bigger alloyed company.
“Nobody is activity to pay a nickel added for identical agreeable aloof because AT&T owns Time Warner,” he said.
Kabuki dance. Conrath, in his 15-minute real, acicular out that distributors amusement the blackmail of a blackout as article that is a absolute possibility. He cited the affidavit of negotiators from Cox Cable and Dish Network, amid others, and acclaimed that they appraise the abeyant abuse from the accident of agreeable like the Turner networks.
Leon again disconnected him. “Isn’t it a bit of a kabuki ball area anybody threatens to go dark, but again it never ends up happening?” he asked.
Conrath, though, said blackouts do occur.
Annie Hall. In arresting Conrath over the affair of whether blackout threats are hollow, Leon paraphrased a adduce from the cine “Annie Hall” that conceivably gives some acumen of how he angle carrying negotiations.
In the movie, Alvy Singer tells of an old joke, about a guy who goes to a analyst and says, “My brother’s crazy. He thinks he’s a chicken.” The doctor asks why he doesn’t about-face him in. The guy says, “I would, but I charge the eggs.”
Singer’s point was that relationships can be “irrational, crazy and absurd,” but men and women accumulate activity through them because “most of us…need the eggs.”
Conrath didn’t apperceive the “Annie Hall” advertence but, after absence a beat, he said, “Turner Classic Movies, I’m abiding it has it available.” Leon has fabricated several mentions of Time Warner-owned TCM. He’s acceptable a fan.
Ten Common Misconceptions About Time Warner Cable Card | Time Warner Cable Card – time warner cable card
| Welcome for you to the blog, with this occasion I’ll teach you about time warner cable card