AAI and Consumer Groups Support DOJ Appeal (U.S. v. AT&T)

The American Antitrust Institute (AAI) joined with other consumer groups in an amicus brief in support of the appeal brought by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to undo the merger between AT&T and Time Warner.

The brief, filed with Consumers Union and Public Knowledge, argues that the lower court’s rejection of DOJ’s case was wrong because the court imposed an excessive burden of proof on the government.

The brief also supports DOJ’s argument that the lower court made other fundamental economic and legal errors in concluding that the government failed to show that the merger would enable the Turner networks to gain additional bargaining leverage that A&T would likely use to increase the affiliate fees of DirecTV’s multichannel video program competitors (like DISH) and thereby raise prices to consumers.  These errors include the court’s failure to recognize basic economic principles of bargaining theory and the legal principle that business units of the same company will seek to maximize corporate-wide profits.

AAI is appreciative of the efforts of AAI Advisors George Slover, Gene Kimmelman, and Jon Cuneo in helping with the brief.