U.S. government, AT&T say pre-trial preparation progressing


WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Lawyers for the Justice Department and AT&T Inc (T.N) said on Friday that preparations have been smooth for a trial to decide if the wireless and pay TV giant may buy movie and TV show maker Time Warner Inc (TWX.N).

“Things have been moving as they ought to,” said Justice Department lawyer Craig Conrath in a pre-trial status conference.

The Justice Department sued in November to stop AT&T, the No. 2 U.S. wireless company, from buying Time Warner for $85 billion because of concerns that it could raise prices for rivals and pay-TV subscribers and hamper the development of online video.

Conrath said that the government had held depositions on Thursday and Friday.

Daniel Petrocelli, who represents DirecTV owner AT&T as well as Time Warner, said that the Justice Department planned 41 depositions.

FILE PHOTO: Chief Executive Officer of AT&T Randall Stephenson (L) walks off the stage with David McAtee (C), SEVP and General Counsel for AT&T, and Daniel…

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