“…CNN is at the heart of a dispute between the Justice Department and AT&T and Time Warner. Three people from the companies said Wednesday that the department insisted that AT&T divest either CNN’s parent company, Turner Broadcasting, or its valuable DirecTV service in return for approval…

“Adding to the chill was the lack of a compelling legal justification for the department’s conditions, which appeared to come out of the blue. Asking AT&T to divest DirecTV seems to be a non-starter, given how essential DirecTV is as a satellite distributor of content, and the Justice Department had to know that. So in effect, AT&T’s only choice would be to jettison Turner.”

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