AT&T has extended the termination date for its merger with Time Warner Inc. to April 22, the company said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission Tuesday.
AT&T and Time Warner had originally set an Oct. 22 termination for the transaction, the one-year anniversary of the announcement of the deal. As it became increasingly apparent that the merger would face some push back from federal regulators, AT&T said in October that it would extend the termination date – the day that either party could walk away if the deal hasn’t closed – for a “short period,” which in the case of special extensions could be as late as April 22. On Tuesday, AT&T made that April 22 date official.
On Nov. 20 the U.S. Department of Justice filed suit to block the merger, claiming that it would “greatly harm” consumers and lead to higher prices. AT&T has denied those claims and has said it plans to vigorously contest the DOJ’s allegations. President Donald Trump has criticized the deal in the past, and has waged a war of words with Time Warner's cable news network CNN for months, calling the channel, which has been highly critical of his office, "fake news." Reports have suggested one of the possible conditions for approval floated by DOJ in the past was the divestiture of either Time Warner's Turner networks (parent of CNN) or its DirecTV satellite television company. AT&T has said it would accept neither of those conditions.