AT&T is trying to prove that President Trump personally intervened to stop a proposed merger with Time Warner, Bloomberg reported Wednesday. AT&T reportedly believes there are documents tracing correspondence between the White House and Justice Department that could prove Trump wanted the $85 billion merger killed.
Last November, the DOJ announced that it would initiate an antitrust lawsuit to block the merger between AT&T and Time Warner, claiming the deal would "substantially lessen competition." When news of the suit surfaced, The New York Times reported that the DOJ had insinuated the deal would be approved if Time Warner sold off Turner Broadcasting — which owns the president's least favorite news network, CNN.
Various sources within AT&T and Time Warner told Vanity Fair that the demand for Time Warner to shed Turner Broadcasting, and CNN by proxy, reeked of politics. The antitrust lawsuit is set to begin in March, and Bloomberg says that AT&T is also hoping to get the head attorney for the DOJ's antitrust division to testify.
As a presidential candidate, Trump expressed his opposition to the AT&T and Time Warner merger, saying that it would result in "too much concentration of power in the hands of too few." Bloomberg notes that the White House has long denied allegations that their opposition to the sale is politically motivated. Both the Justice Department and AT&T declined to comment on Bloomberg's story.