AT&T Inc. was cleared by a judge to take over Time Warner Inc. in an $85 billion deal that the mobile-phone giant says will fuel its evolution into a media powerhouse that can go head-to-head with Netflix Inc. and Amazon.com Inc.
U.S. District Judge Richard Leon on Tuesday rejected the Justice Department’s request for an order blocking the Time Warner acquisition, saying the government failed to make its case that the combination would lead to higher prices for pay-TV subscribers. The judge put no conditions on the deal.
AT&T slipped 1.6 percent to $33.80 in extended trading at 4:46 p.m. in New York. Time Warner jumped 4.7 percent.
After nearly two years, AT&T is on the cusp of completing its acquisition of Time Warner, a deal it struck in a bid to become an entertainment giant that can feed Time Warner programming like HBO and CNN to its 119 million mobile, internet and video customers.
“We think the evidence throughout the trial was quite clear and we’re very