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Media & Comm, most read: AT&T closes Time Warner deal; net neutrality rules end


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Media & Comm, most read: AT&T closes Time Warner deal; net neutrality rules end

Here are the most-read stories of the week.

Judge allows AT&T/Time Warner deal, opening door for further M&A

A U.S. district court judge ruled to allow AT&T Inc.'s $85.4 billion purchase of Time Warner Inc. to proceed in a decision expected to lead to greater convergence in the media and communications sectors. In the highly anticipated ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon approved the deal with no conditions. AT&T completed its acquisition of Time Warner on June 14.

AT&T/Time Warner cited as new M&A precedent, but legal experts advise caution

AT&T's decisive legal victory in arguing that its purchase of Time Warner would not harm competition in the U.S. video distribution industry is expected to touch off a wave of deal making, but legal experts cautioned that the judge's ruling should not be read too broadly.

AT&T to ramp up its sports holdings following Time Warner deal

Consolidation among some of the biggest players in sports rights in the U.S. is shrinking the pool of eligible bidders on future rights deals to a handful of large companies with extensive resources. With few new major sports rights properties surfacing, rights deals for major-league baseball, hockey, football and soccer games that are expiring within the next several years are expected to draw keen interest, including from the newly merged AT&T and Time Warner.

The Week Ahead: Net neutrality rules end as judge decides AT&T/Time Warner case

It was a big week for the media and communications sectors, as a U.S. district court judge on June 12 allowed AT&T to buy Time Warner and federal net neutrality protections ended June 11. The order repealing the FCC's net neutrality rules, adopted in a contentious party-line vote in December 2017, reclassified broadband as a Title I service under the Communications Act versus the Title II classification adopted in 2015 under the Democratic administration. The agency has less regulatory power over Title I services; it cannot impose tariffs or set rate regulations over internet service providers under the new classification. In addition, the order also eliminated the FCC's net neutrality rules, which prohibited network operators from blocking or throttling legal internet traffic or prioritizing certain traffic in exchange for payment.

Media stocks rocked by AT&T/Time Warner deal approval, Comcast's Fox offer

Investors bought up the stocks of Time Warner and 21st Century Fox Inc. on June 13 after a judge ruled to allow the acquisition of one and an unsolicited acquisition offer formally touched off a bidding war for the other.