Skip to main content

Franken: AT&T's Time Warner takeover 'raises immediate flags'

(AP Photo/Lisa Poole)
  • Author:
  • Updated:

It didn't take long for Sen. Al Franken to have his say on AT&T's proposed takeover of Time Warner.

News broke on Saturday that the telecoms giant has agreed an $85.4 billion takeover of the media and entertainment conglomerate, which owns CNN and HBO among other TV channels and the Warner Bros. movie studios.

No sooner had it broke that Sen. Franken, who has been an outspoken critic of major media takeovers, has expressed his skepticism over the deal.

Franken opposed Comcast's proposed $45 billion takeover of Time Warner last year, which collapsed when it was opposed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) amid concerns Comcast would have too much control over what Americans would watch and do online, NPR reports.

And in comments on Saturday, Franken said AT&T's proposed takeover, which will have to go through intense regulatory scrutiny, raises "immediate flags."

"AT&T's reported proposal to acquire Time Warner for more than $80 billion raises some immediate flags about consolidation in the media market, which is an area I've worked to address for years," said Sen. Franken.

"I'm skeptical of huge media mergers because they can lead to higher costs, fewer choices, and even worse service for consumers. And regulators often agree, like when Comcast unsuccessfully tried to buy Time Warner Cable, a deal that I fiercely opposed.

"In the coming days, I'm going to be pressing for further details about this reported deal and how it would affect the American consumer, who deserves access to the content they want and whose pocketbook continues to be squeezed by rising cable and internet costs."

Forbes reports that consumers should be wary of the deal to make the second-largest wireless provider a content producer, noting that consolidation could result in a lack of competition that in turn forces prices up.

The magazine also notes that it could bring into play net neutrality, suggesting that federal officials will watch to ensure it doesn't favor its own content when it's accessed by its wireless internet customers.

Next Up


Gallery: Island cabin is one of northernmost homes for sale in MN

Want to buy one of the northernmost homes on the market in Minnesota?

Screen Shot 2022-09-30 at 4.54.42 PM

Charges: Houston men robbed Edina bank of $110,000

A third suspect has not yet been identified.

Arctic Monkeys

Arctic Monkeys coming to Minnesota for 2023 tour

The rock band hasn't gone on tour in the United States since 2019.

Flickr - Menards store front - Mike Kalasnik

Multiple charges over protests after fatal Menards forklift incident

The charges range from trespassing, destruction of property and assault.

Life Link

Boy airlifted after being struck by driver in Elk River

The boy is reportedly a student at Spectrum High School.

Woodbury mn

Fortune's Top 25 places to live for families includes Woodbury

The media outlet says it analyzed 215,000 data points for almost 2,000 cities and towns across the U.S.


Iconic Dangerfield's Restaurant sells, with buyer planning new concept

Dangerfield's Restaurant quietly sold recently after more than 30 years in business.

police lights squad car dark - Unsplash

Charges: Minneapolis shooter photographed 'lifeless' body before fleeing

Charges filed against an accomplice reveal new details about the death of Chante Williams.

Maple grove fire

5 youths are 'persons of interest' in Maple Grove greenhouse fire

Police say it's being investigated as a possible arson.

Dave Hutchinson

Dave Hutchinson has police license suspended for 30 days

The sheriff's suspension will begin on Nov. 22.


How the AT&T and Time Warner deal might affect Minnesotans

AT&T wants to pay $85.4 billion for Time Warner. Could this mean higher prices for Minnesota cable customers?

Here's why the FCC chairman was in the Twin Cities on Tuesday

Ajit Pai paid a visit to a Twin Cities internet success story.

Google is going to stop scanning your emails to target you with ads

Didn't know Google has been doing this? It's been going on a long time.

Twitter reveals new plans to crack down on abusive trolls

A study has found that the majority of social media abuse occurs on Twitter.

Senators voted to allow your internet provider to sell your web history to advertisers

What's more, the bill passed on Thursday also prevents the FCC from ever passing strict privacy rules again.