US facing off against AT&T to block merger with Time Warner

March 22, 2018
US facing off against AT&T to block merger with Time Warner
In this Oct. 24, 2016, file photo, the AT&T logo is positioned above one of its retail stores in New York. Opening arguments in the federal government's case to block AT&T's efforts to gobble up Time Warner have been postponed until Thursday, March 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

The Trump administration is facing off against AT&T to block the telephone giant from absorbing Time Warner, in a case that could shape how consumers get—and how much they pay for—streaming TV and movies.

Opening arguments come Thursday in the landmark antitrust case in in Washington. The Justice Department has sued to block the $85 billion deal, saying it would hurt competition and consumers would have to pay more to watch their favorite shows, whether on a TV screen, smartphone or tablet.

AT&T insists the merger is needed to compete in a rapidly shifting marketplace as more people use streaming services like Netflix, Amazon and others. It denies the government's assertion that the merger would limit choice and push up prices.

Explore further: Opening arguments in AT&T antitrust trial postponed

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