The antitrust sub-committee of the US Senate Judiciary Committee is only the latest in a long line of public figures to scrutinize the proposed buyout deal between AT&T and Time Warner, but there's a bit of a difference between their scrutiny and that of the likes of US Senator Bernie Sanders; unlike most other authority figures, this committee is able to hold an official meeting on the matter that will significantly impact other authorities' relevant decisions and possibly mark the first official step toward blocking the deal entirely. Naturally, that's exactly what they have decided to do, and all of the fun is scheduled for December 7.
AT&T and Time Warner had hoped to avoid attracting too much attention with their deal, but it seems that such a huge transaction simply can't escape scrutiny. The US presidential candidates have spoken up about the deal, it's entirely likely that the deal will have to go under the FCC's unforgiving microscope, and now a US Senate subcommittee will be directly examining the deal from all angles. They will be talking about the impact of the deal both in and out of the business, from the standpoint of AT&T and Time Warner's contemporaries, and from the standpoint of the average consumer. Mainly, they will be looking at how the deal may affect innovation and competition in both telecom and video fields, should it go through.
AT&T's bid to buy up Time Warner, with talks still in progress about the broadcasting licenses that such a deal would normally include, is set to involve a figure in the ballpark of $85 billion changing hands in a mix of cash and other perks. The shockingly huge merger would bring together one of the largest telecom entities that the United States has ever seen and a massive media empire that includes content and talent from the likes of HBO, CNN, CW, and of course Warner Brothers. While Time Warner Cable is a separate entity and there are discussions about whether AT&T should be given the cable licenses that Time Warner has, even without those, AT&T still stands to gain the liberty to draw on an insane amount of media, giving them the perfect opportunity to overcome their biggest rival, Verizon, and seize a near-monopoly in both land-based and wireless telecoms.