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Federal judge approves AT&T-Time Warner merger

A federal judge on Tuesday ruled that AT&T could purchase Time Warner, bringing a closely-scrutinized antitrust case to an end, The Washington Post reports.

AT&T moved to merge with Time Warner in 2016, but the Justice Department sued to block the purchase over concerns that the massive telecom merger would reduce competition and lead to higher prices. AT&T owns companies like DirecTV, while Time Warner owns companies like HBO and CNN, which will make the combined corporation a veritable media giant. Bloomberg reports that U.S. District Judge Richard Leon ruled to allow the purchase with no conditions.

The DOJ called the decision disappointing, saying the market will be "less competitive and less innovative." It also pledged to "consider next steps in light of our commitment to preserving competition for the benefit of American consumers," reports CNN. The ruling on the $85 billion merger is expected to set a precedent for other major deals. Read more at Bloomberg.