Rupert Murdoch twice discussed CNN with AT&T CEO

Rupert Murdoch twice discussed CNN with AT&T CEO

Rupert Murdoch twice discussed CNN with AT&T CEO

According to the report, Ginsberg rejected Kushner's suggestion, as "there was no scenario under which Time Warner would do that, one of the people familiar with the matter said".

There are concerns that AT&T would favor its programming for its millions of customers. Or AT&T could limit Time Warner content to its own customers, in direct or subtle ways, hurting rival cable and online distributors.

The Journal continued that, according to a White House official, Kushner was merely making a point, and did not mean to be taken seriously. Over the summer The New York Times reported that Trump aides discussed using the pending deal as a powerful form of leverage over CNN's coverage.

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson denied that AT&T has offered to sell CNN or that it was on the table. Several Democratic lawmakers have also pushed back against the combination.

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Kushner reportedly filed complaints to CNN executives on a regular basis during the campaign, and was particularly displeased with its fact-checking, which, according to The Journal, prompted Kushner to call CNN president Jeff Zucker to say that members of the Trump campaign would not appear on the network. Trump's hand-picked antitrust chief, Makan Delrahim, said he has "never been instructed by the White House on this or any other transaction under review by the antitrust division". The Justice official said no decision on the deal has been reached yet and that conversations continue. "But I do believe you should have as many news outlets as you can".

"I have never been told that the price of getting the deal done was selling CNN, period", Stephenson said at a conference Thursday. Stephenson was responding on a question on whether he would consider selling Turner or HBO.

On last Sunday's "Reliable Sources" on CNN, when asked whether Trump has had any involvement, counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway said "we're not going to interfere with that here". In such deals, a competitor isn't eliminated, so it's harder for the government to show how consumers would be harmed.

Stephens reiterated confidence in the deal, saying "these types of mergers bring great benefit to customers and have very routinely been approved by the DOJ and the federal government".

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