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US Faces off Against AT&T to Block Merger With Time Warner


FILE - Time Warner shares are projected on a acreen above the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, New York, U.S.

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.

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