Tag Archives: Proposed
AT&T and Time Warner argued on Tuesday that their proposed $ 85.4 billion merger was “pro-competitive” and “pro-consumer,” as they sought to refute U.S. Justice Department allegations that the deal breaks antitrust law.
In a joint court filing, the companies focused on rebutting government efforts to show that AT&T, which owns pay-TV provider DirecTV, would raise rates for rival pay-TV companies to use Time Warner’s movies and TV shows.
They also argued that the government was wrong to worry that the deal would hamper the development of online video.
They did not mention President Donald Trump or the White House. Trump has repeatedly criticized Time Warner’s CNN news unit and announced his opposition to the deal before last year’s presidential election, saying it would concentrate too much power in AT&T’s hands.
Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal, who is skeptical of the deal, said last week he was nonetheless worried that the antitrust issue was being used for political reasons. Other lawmakers have expressed similar concerns.
The Justice Department last week sued AT&T to block its planned acquisition of Time Warner.
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In the filing on Tuesday, the companies said that they operate in highly competitive markets which will remain competitive after they close the deal.
They noted that streaming service Netflix has 100 million subscribers globally, while tech firms Apple, Google and Facebook were investing billions of dollars in video. Hulu and Amazon were becoming contenders in video distribution, while others, like social messaging company Snapchat, were starting to enter the market, they added.
“Against this backdrop, the proposed merger of AT&T and Time Warner is a pro-competitive, pro-consumer response to an intensely competitive and rapidly changing video marketplace,” the companies said in the filing.
“This transaction presents absolutely no risk of harm to competition or consumers.”
The trial will be heard by Judge Richard Leon at the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
Leon was nominated to the court by former Republican President George W. Bush and is no stranger to high-profile cases. Leon signed off on the Justice Department’s 2011 deal which allowed Comcast to buy NBC Universal and has heard a number of private antitrust cases. In the 1990s, he worked on House of Representatives panels looking at the Iran-Contra affair and the Whitewater controversy.
Termination date for the deal is April 22, 2018.
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Uber Technologies Inc, which has been facing a wave of regulations in Latin America, is fighting proposed rules in Cancun that the ride-hailing service says could drive it out of the top Mexican beach resort.
Legislators in Quintana Roo, the southeastern state that includes Cancun, are considering a proposal that would bar drivers from accepting cash and set minimum value and age criteria for the cars used for trips.
Accepting cash from users is often seen as making drivers robbery targets.
Federico Ranero, general manager for Uber in Mexico, said the law would have grave implications for the company’s operations in the tourist destination, where 40 percent of trips are paid for in cash.
“This regulation, if it is passed as it is, would so limit the service and so drastically affect the experience of our users and driver-partners that Uber would feel obligated to suspend its operations in the state of Quintana Roo,” Ranero said in an interview.
Fernando Zelaya, president of the state legislature’s transportation commission and one of the lawmakers who presented the initiative, could not be reached for comment. But his staff said legislators could discuss it as soon as this week.
Last month, lawmakers in the central Mexican state of Puebla approved new rules aimed at stricter vetting and monitoring of ride-share drivers working for companies like Uber and Cabify after the recent murders of two female college students.
Senators in Brazil scrapped parts of a bill last month that would have treated ride-hailing companies like traditional taxi services after a lobbying effort by Uber that included a trip there by new Chief Executive Officer Dara Khosrowshahi.
By specifying the value and age of drivers’ cars, the regulation in Quintana Roo is among the more onerous in Mexico, said Carlos Martinez, who heads the Center for Citizens and Consumers, a group that has studied the proposals.
“You have here a clear barrier to entry in the market,” he said.
Ranero warned that tourism in Cancun, a relatively small but growing market for Uber, could take a hit if the company leaves.
“The tourists trust Uber,” he said.
Cash payments have proved to be a thorny issue for Uber as it pursues growth in emerging markets where many consumers do not have credit cards. After a wave of attacks on drivers in Brazil, Uber began using social security numbers to verify the identity of riders who pay with cash.
After testing various methods in Mexico, Uber has been authenticating such riders through their Facebook profiles, Ranero said.
Reporting by Julia Love; Editing by David Alire Garcia and Lisa Von Ahn
Apple and the FBI both started to veer toward the same stance in the San Bernardino iPhone case: we need better policy. It’s on its way, but if passed, it’s certainly not the policy Apple had hoped for. The latest version of the Compliance with Court Orders Act of 2016 requires companies provide government with “intelligible data” or “technical assistance” to access encrypted data when presented a court order. In a joint statement, senators Richard Burr and Dianne Feinstein noted: “The underlying goal is simple: When there’s a court order to render technical assistance to law enforcement or provide decrypted information, that…
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