As part of its coverage from the World Economic Forum, CNBC talked with AT&T chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson this morning. Stephenson called AT&T’s proposed $85 billion merger with CNN parent company Time Warner “a basic vertical merger.”
Stephenson argued against the idea of spinning off CNN in order to get the deal done. “I don’t know why we’d even talk about that,” Stephenson said on Squawk Box. “It doesn’t seem relevant to approving a deal like this. What would be the competitive issue that you’re remedying with spinning off CNN? There are not competitive issues with owning CNN.