AT&T + Time Warner = Precedent-Setting Vertical Merger Case

Compass Lexecon successfully testified in a precedent-setting case that the $85 billion vertical merger between AT&T and Time Warner would not lead to higher prices.

Situation

Compass Lexecon was retained by AT&T and Time Warner to provide economic analysis and expert testimony concerning the merger of the two companies, and to assist with the litigation brought by the U.S. Department of Justice to block the deal. This litigation was the first challenge of a vertical merger brought by the Department of Justice in decades and was closely followed by practitioners and the press as a critical precedent-setting case.

Impact

Judge Richard J. Leon ruled in favor of AT&T and Time Warner, permitting the merger to proceed without imposing conditions. Judge Leon’s opinion cited all of Compass Lexecon’s testifying experts, with Professor Carlton cited more than 50 times. Judge Leon agreed with Professor Carlton’s conclusion that “There’s absolutely no statistical basis to support the Government’s claim that vertical integration in this industry leads to higher content prices.”