WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is facing off against AT&T to block the telephone giant from absorbing Time Warner, in a case that could shape how consumers get — and how much they pay for — streaming TV and movies.
Opening arguments come Thursday in the landmark antitrust case in federal court in Washington. The Justice Department has sued to block the $85 billion deal, saying it would hurt competition and consumers would have to pay more to watch their favorite shows, whether on a TV screen, smartphone or tablet.
AT&T insists the merger is needed to compete in a rapidly shifting marketplace as more people use streaming services like Netflix, Amazon and others. It denies the government’s assertion that the merger would limit choice and push up prices.