Judge: Gov’t evidence too thin in AT&T case | Time Warner merger advances

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WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. District Judge Richard Leon said the government failed to meet its burden of proof in its antitrust suit against the AT&T-Time Warner merger.

Leon said the government had “taken its best shot” to oppose the merger. But, he added, “the government’s evidence is too thin a reed for this court to rely on.”

The judge made his remarks to a packed courtroom in an unusual session weeks after the trial ended.

Leon also said it would be harmful for him to put a temporary stay on the merger while the government appeals his decision, if it does so. The “drop dead” deadline for the merger to be completed is June 21. If not completed by then, either company could walk away, and AT&T would have to pay a $500 million breakup fee.