Judge Richard J. Leon of United States District Court in Washington issued a massive 172-page opinion explaining the ruling.
While critics say this focus is too restrictive and urge the U.S. to take on a broader notion of competition regulation, the head of the Justice Department’s antitrust division defended the traditional approach in a speech several hours before Judge Leon’s decision.
He said the Justice Department had not proved that AT&T acquisition of Time Warner would lead to fewer choices or higher prices for consumers.
Similarly, the case was not about concentrating the power to distribute news and entertainment in the hands of a few corporations, creating ‘too big to fail’ combinations of media and telecom that would require bailouts should they fail financially, or narrowing the channels for journalists, artists, and other creators to get their products to the public.
The evidence showed that distributors have successfully operated, and continue to operate, without the Turner networks or similar programming,” Judge Leon wrote.