Randall Stephenson Tells FBN’s Charlie Gasparino He Isn’t Surprised DOJ Is Appealing AT&T-Time Warner Merger

By A.J. Katz 

Yesterday, Department of Justice decided to appeal the $85 billion AT&T-Time Warner merger, a deal that got the green light from the government four weeks ago after 21 months of back-and-forth between AT&T and the government.

Two days after U.S. District Judge Richard Leon approved the merger on June 12, AT&T hit the gas pedal, changing the name of the Time Warner assets to WarnerMedia. New CEO John Stankey has already held town halls with Time Warner employees from properties like Warner Bros., HBO, and Turner (including CNN) to talk about AT&T’s vision for the new company.

The man in charge, while undoubtedly peeved by the move, isn’t surprised by it.

AT&T Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson spoke with FBN’s senior correspondent Charlie Gasparino at the the Allen & Co. media conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, telling him: “I don’t think many people are surprised they filed to an appeal. Loser always has the opportunity, the right to appeal. That’s what they’ve chosen to do. The judge wrote a very thoughtful, very reasoned, very thorough order and so we feel very good about where we are in an appeal. So, no surprise.”

Gasparino asked Stephenson if there was any possibility that the appeal could impact the merger; Stephenson said no. “Doesn’t change. The merger’s closed, we’re about executing right now. We’re past all of that. This is in the lawyers hand until they go to appeal.”