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AT&T Commits to Time Warner Deal Even as Judge Delays Deadline

  • Judge Richard Leon says he won’t rule by April 22 merger date
  • AT&T, Time Warner should extend deadline 60-90 days, he says
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Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

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The U.S. Justice Department’s antitrust lawsuit to block AT&T Inc. from buying Time Warner Inc. will go to trial March 19, a later date than the companies had sought to begin their epic legal fight with the government.

With the trial more than three months off, AT&T and Time Warner will have to extend their self-imposed April 22 deadline for completing the $85.4 billion deal. U.S. District Judge Richard Leon said Thursday in Washington that the companies should push back the cutoff date by 60 to 90 days to give him time to make a decision.