There are many fine reasons for the Department of Justice to act against the impending $85 billion merger of AT&T and Time Warner.
If AT&T and DOJ cannot agree to conditions, the government can sue to block the deal.
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".
President Donald Trump appeared to stress on Saturday that he had not intervened in AT&T's bid to buy Time Warner - or sought to require that the companies sell CNN in order to obtain the US government's approval of the deal. The deal has yet to be approved by US antitrust regulators. "We are prepared to litigate now", Stephenson told CNBC on the sidelines of the New York Times Dealbook conference. "It's illogical. It's why we did the deal", he said.
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"I do feel you should have as many news outlets as you can - especially since so many are fake", Trump continued, according to a pool report.
"The President did not speak with the Attorney General about this matter, and no White House official was authorized to speak with the Department of Justice on this matter", Shah said in an emailed statement late Wednesday.
AT&T had previously targeted the end of the year for closing the deal, and Wall Street analysts had widely expected the deal to go through.
AT&T's acquisition of Time Warner has hit a serious snag.
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Delrahim has said he prefers "structural" changes to a deal, like selling off assets, rather than having the government monitor a company's promises to abide by certain conditions, as was done with Comcast.
Representatives of Twenty-First Century Fox, AT&T and Time Warner, CNN's parent, declined comment. Several Democratic lawmakers have also pushed back against the combination.
In court, AT&T would have the upper hand, said Geoffrey Manne, executive director of Portland-based think tank International Center for Law and Economics. "And likewise I have never offered to sell CNN", he said, adding that there was "absolutely no intention" that the company would sell the network.
But sources said talks between the government and AT&T are ongoing in the hopes that an agreement can be reached.
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Manne said he sees the Justice Department's remarks as "part of a settlement negotiation".